Trump to Send Federal Forces to Kenosha to Help Quell Riots

Federal law enforcement officers and National Guardsmen are en route to Kenosha, Wisconsin, on Wednesday to help quell unrest there, President Donald Trump said. 
 Trump said in a statement that his team reached an agreement with Gov. Tony Evers, a Democrat. “We will NOT stand for looting, arson, violence, and lawlessness on American streets,” Trump said, adding that the federal assistance was aimed at restoring law and order. 

 The apparent turnabout came after White House chief of staff Mark Meadows accused Evers of turning down an offer for federal help on Tuesday. “We have National Guard standing by, and if the general for the National Guard needs additional help, we’re there to do it,” Meadows said on Fox News’ “Tucker Carlson Tonight.” 

“But today, that request was denied by the governor.” Tony Evers Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers awaits to address the virtual Democratic National Convention from Milwaukee, Wis., on Aug. 19, 2020. (Melina Mara/Pool/Getty Images) Meadows said the situation in Kenosha, where riots exploded on Sunday night police shot a man wanted for sexual assault, “is out of control and it can’t be allowed to continue.” Lawmakers representing Wisconsin had urged Evers to accept help from the federal government. 

 The governor “should reconsider his refusal to accept @potus offer to send more personnel to restore order,” Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), the chairman of the Senate Homeland Security Committee, said in a statement on Wednesday morning. Rep. Bryan Steil (R-Wis.) said he asked Trump for assistance and he agreed before Evers rejected the officer. “I call on the Governor to accept the President’s offer,” he said around the same time. Trump and Evers spoke by phone, Meadows said, before accusing Democratic governors in various cities of ignoring the unrest that has taken hold in recent months. 

 “You do not have a First Amendment right to loot and riot,” he said. Trump called on Portland Gov. Kate Brown to accept federal assistance to help quell the continued rioting in Portland, an idea she rebuffed late Tuesday. Evers’s office did not respond to a request for comment. A spokeswoman told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel that the Trump administration was actually offering help from the Department of Homeland Security. The governor turned down the offer, she said, because he sent 125 more National Guard members to Kenosha after an initial deployment of 125 failed to keep the peace Tuesday. 

 “The governor informed them that we would be increasing Wisconsin National Guard support in Kenosha and therefore would not need federal assistance in response to protests but would welcome additional federal support and resources for our state’s response to COVID-19,” Evers spokeswoman Britt Cudaback said. NTD Photo A protester holds up a phone as he stands in front of law enforcement officers in Kenosha, Wis., on Aug. 25, 2020. (Morry Gash/AP Photo) In a Tuesday statement, Evers called on people to protest “peacefully and safely.” 

 “Everyone should be able to exercise their fundamental right—whether a protester or member of the press—peacefully and safely. We cannot allow the cycle of systemic racism and injustice to continue. We also cannot continue going down this path of damage and destruction,” he said. Later in the day, the governor signed an executive order declaring a state of emergency because of unrest in Kenosha and other cities. The order states that “unfortunately, some individuals have deviated from peaceful protests and engaged in unlawful, harmful, and dangerous activities, including arson, which has endangered the lives of other protesters and bystanders, which cannot be tolerated.”

 The order enables the adjutant general to call to active-duty additional National Guardsmen if deemed necessary to assist local law enforcement and protect buildings and other infrastructure. No buildings appeared to be set on fire overnight Tuesday but two people were fatally shot in another night of chaos.



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