Story at a glance
- The Kenosha County Board in Wisconsin asked Gov. Evers for 1,500 National Guard members with police powers.
- Two people were fatally shot on Tuesday evening.
After a third day of escalating protests in Kenosha, Wis., the county board is asking Gov. Evers to allocate more National Guard troops with ‘police powers’ to the city to control demonstrations.
In a letter Wednesday, Kenosha County Board Chairman John O’Day and Vice Chairwoman Monica Yuhas specifically requested 1,500 National Guard members with police powers to be sent to Kenosha County. The members wrote on behalf of the county board, stating that the “county is in a state of emergency” and the extra law enforcement is needed to “preserve and save” the region.
“Our county is under attack,” the board wrote in the letter. “Our businesses are under attack. Our homes are under attack. Our local law enforcement agencies need additional support to help bring civility back to our community.”
Two people were killed and one was injured after a shooting Tuesday evening at a protest in Kenosha. No arrests have been made, and the victims remain unidentified.
Protests erupted in the city following the police shooting of Jacob Blake, a 29-year-old Black man, on Sunday. Police shot Blake multiple times in the back at close range and in front of his children. He is paralyzed from the waist down.
The police shooting of Blake and the subsequent protests come just three months after the police killing of George Floyd and several other Black Americans renewed a national Black Lives Matter movement and demands to end police brutality.
Police powers refers to a state’s ability to enforce and establish laws within their own territory for the benefit of “welfare, safety, and health of the public.” It’s guaranteed by the 10th Amendment.
The proposal seems to have already landed with Evers, who tweeted that an increased National Guard presence will be implemented in Kenosha County.
We are assessing the damage to state property and will be increasing the presence of the Wisconsin National Guard to ensure individuals can exercise their right safely, protect state buildings and critical infrastructure, and support first responders and fire fighters.— Governor Tony Evers (@GovEvers) August 25, 2020
Evers further encouraged citizens to protest peacefully.