DOJ Sending FBI, U.S. Marshals to Wisconsin to Handle Riots

A demonstrator carries a make-shift shield across the street on August 25, 2020 in Kenosha, Wisconsin. As the city declared a state of emergency curfew, a third night of civil unrest occurred after the shooting of Jacob Blake, 29, on August 23. Video shot of the incident appears to show …
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The Department of Justice is deploying federal resources to Wisconsin after a deadly shooting in riot-torn Kenosha left two people dead, a spokesperson for the federal agency said Wednesday.

“Working with the Governor and state and local law enforcement, the Department of Justice is deploying  federal assets, including from the FBI and US Marshals, to assist in the response to the riots and unrest,” DOJ spox Keri Kupec wrote on Twitter in response to President Donald Trump’s announcement that he will dispatch federal law enforcement and the National Guard to restore “law and order” to Kenosha.

The development comes after White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows told Fox News Channel’s Tucker Carlson that Wisconsin initially rejected federal assistance with the riots.

It is unclear how many FBI members and U.S. Marshals will be sent to Wisconsin.

Kenosha was marred by a third consecutive night of riots sparked by the police-involved shooting of Jacob Blake on Sunday. An eyewitness said that police told Blake to “drop the knife,” though he himself did not witness Blake carrying a knife. Blake’s father told the Chicago Sun Times his son is paralyzed from the waist down; doctors don’t yet know if the condition is permanent.

Earlier Wednesday, a 17-year-old man was arrested after allegedly shooting dead two people during riots in Kenosha.

Kyle Rittenhouse, of Antioch, Illinois, was taken into custody in Illinois on suspicion of first-degree intentional homicide. Antioch is about 15 miles from Kenosha.

Two people were killed Tuesday night and a third was wounded in an attack apparently carried out by a young white man who was caught on cellphone video opening fire in the middle of the street with a semi-automatic rifle.

“I just killed somebody,” the gunman could be heard saying at one point during the rampage that erupted just before midnight.

In the wake of the killings, Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers (D) authorized the sending of 500 members of the National Guard to Kenosha, doubling the number of troops. The governor’s office said he is working with other states to bring in additional National Guard members and law officers. Authorities also announced a 7 p.m. curfew, an hour earlier than the night before.

“A senseless tragedy like this cannot happen again,” the governor, a Democrat, said in a statement. “I again ask those who choose to exercise their First Amendment rights please do so peacefully and safely, as so many did last night. I also ask the individuals who are not there to exercise those rights to please stay home and let local first responders, law enforcement and members of the Wisconsin National Guard do their jobs.”

The AP contributed to this report. 

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