Wisconsin Governor Deploys 500 National Guard in Kenosha for Jacob Blake Decision

Police stand near a department of corrections building that was on fire during protests, Monday, Aug. 24, 2020, in Kenosha, Wis., sparked by the shooting of Jacob Blake by a Kenosha Police officer a day earlier. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)
Morry Gash/AP Photo

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers has authorized the deployment of 500 National Guard members to help local law enforcement prevent violence in the city of Kenosha ahead of an anticipated court decision about the shooting of Jacob Blake Jr. last year.

Blake, then 29, was shot several times by police in Kenosha after he resisted arrest and escaped a Taser. Police had a warrant for his arrest and were responding to a 911 call by a woman he was previously alleged to have assaulted. Blake was allegedly reaching for a knife inside his car when he was shot. The shooting provoked “Black Lives Matter” protests and also riots.

Kenosha County District Attorney Michael Graveley is due to announce his decision about whether to charge officers who were involved in the shooting. Prosecutors dropped the sexual assault charge against Blake in November, along with one count each of domestic abuse and criminal trespassing, in a plea bargain. Blake pleaded guilty to “two counts of disorderly conduct and domestic abuse and was sentenced to two years of probation,” NBC News reported at the time.

The Kenosha News reported Monday:

Ahead of an anticipated court decision in the officer-involved shooting of Jacob Blake, Gov. Tony Evers has authorized 500 Wisconsin National Guard members to assist local law enforcement in Kenosha to stem potential violence.

Evers authorized the National Guard assistance at the request of local authorities.

[Mayor John] Antaramian and Kenosha Police Chief Daniel Miskinis stated in a press release Sunday they expect the announcement within the first two weeks of January.

In August, former Vice President Joe Biden condemned police at the time but not the riots, which continued for several nights and destroyed the downtown area. After 17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse shot three rioters, killing two, Biden finally condemned the violence. He decided not to visit Kenosha but later changed his mind after President Donald Trump visited the town.

Biden and his running mate, Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), also visited with the Blake family, despite the fact that Blake was suspected of sexual assault and despite the fact that his father has a history of racist and antisemitic views.

Gov. Evers had initially turned down Trump’s offer of additional federally enforcement assistance during the riots.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). His newest e-book is Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.

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