Additional states are providing support to Wisconsin to assist in quelling unrest in Kenosha following this week’s violent protests, Gov. Tony Evers’ (D) office announced on Thursday.
Evers, under the Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC), requested states assist Wisconsin as authorities gear up for what could be a violent weekend in Kenosha.
EMAC is a mutual aid agreement that allows governors to provide state-to-state assistance during declared states of emergency. It will enable other states to provide resources such as National Guard troops and equipment to the requesting state,” the press release states.
As a result, three states — Arizona, Michigan, and Alabama — will send National Guard troops to assist the Wisconsin National Guard:
Any National Guard troops from other states mobilized to support Wisconsin would do so in a State Active Duty status — not in a federal status. Those troops would fall under the operational control of Wisconsin’s adjutant general during their mobilization, but remain under their respective State’s administrative control.
Local officials are leading the response in Kenosha, and National Guard troops are serving in a support role to assist civil authorities in preserving public safety and individuals’ ability to exercise their First Amendment rights to assemble peaceably.
Local authorities originally requested 750 National Guard members earlier this week, but Evers only authorized 250 and rejected the White House’s offer for further assistance. After a particularly violent night, which saw two shot dead and another wounded, Evers authorized additional resources to support local authorities.
The Department of Justice also deployed “federal assets, including from the FBI and US Marshals” to assist in the response to the violent riots, DOJ spokesman Keri Kupec confirmed on 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. https://t.co/rP3ZzPliiE
— Kerri Kupec DOJ (@KerriKupecDOJ) August 26, 2020
Evers has since pleaded with demonstrators, asking them to protest “peacefully and safely.”
Protesters “cannot let the hateful actions of a few designed to create chaos distract us from our pursuit for a more fair, equitable, and accountable state and country for Jacob Blake and the many others who deserve justice,” he added.