The Wisconsin National Guard will support local law enforcement if civil unrest follows the verdict in the officer-involved in the near-fatal shooting of Jacob Blake, state officials announced.
Around 500 National Guardsmen will deploy to Kenosha, Wisconsin, at the request of local law enforcement, Democratic Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers said in a statement. Blake was shot seven times by an officer after fighting with police and not responding to being tased, the Daily Caller reported.
“We are continuing to work with our local partners in the Kenosha area to ensure they have the state support they need, just as we have in the past,” Evers said in a statement.
“Our members of the National Guard will be on hand to support local first responders, ensure Kanoshans are able to assemble safely, and to protect critical infrastructure as necessary,” Evers added.
Gov. Tony Evers has authorized the Wisconsin National Guard in Kenosha ahead of a decision on whether charges will be filed against a police officer in the shooting of Jacob Blake. https://t.co/YM4BH2PNAf
— TMJ4 News (@tmj4) January 4, 2021
Guardsmen will protect infrastructure and necessary community cultural institutions and aid first responders such as the fire department, according to Evers. The National Guard will not be used to disrupt peaceful demonstrations or to block the media from reporting on the scene.
“We work hand-in-hand with communities across Wisconsin to help ensure public safety, and this mobilization represents the culmination of months of planning and partnership with Kenosha,” Wisconsin Adjutant General Paul Knapp said in a statement.
“We are Citizen Soldiers and Airmen who live and work in the same communities as the citizens we serve, and we are always there for our neighbors when they need us,” Knapp added.
Blake was paralyzed from the waist down and the incident led to riots and other demonstrations in Kenosha, the Daily Caller reported. (RELATED: Jacob Blake Reaches Plea Deal, Pleads Guilty To Disorderly Conduct)
Evers did not respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.
This post was updated to clarify a typo.
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