Two people were killed and a third injured in a shooting as a third night of protests roiled downtown Kenosha.
In a statement this morning, Kenosha police provided few details of the shootings. The third person with gunshot wounds was transported to a hospital with serious, but not life-threatening injuries.
Kenosha County Sheriff David Beth told the New York Times the investigation of the incident is centering on a confrontation between protestors and a group of armed men who said they were on the scene to help protect property.
“I’ve had people saying, ‘Why don’t you deputize citizens?'” he said in the interview. “This is why you don’t deputize citizens with guns to protect Kenosha.”
Protests, fires and violence have erupted in Kenosha since Jacob Blake was shot by police Sunday, leaving the 29-year-old Black father of six paralyzed from the waist down.
In Madison, police said in a release early this morning that four arrests were made after a group engaged in property damage in the downtown area that included spray painting, breaking windows and starting several dumpsters on fire. The statement said two separate groups earlier in the night gathered on the Capitol Square and marched around downtown without incident.
See the statement from Kenosha police:
See the Madison police release:
Gov. Tony Evers yesterday turned down the White House’s offer for federal assistance to deal with violent protests in Kenosha, saying it wasn’t needed with the increased support he ordered from the Wisconsin National Guard, a spokeswoman said.
White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows said the help was offered to Evers after an appeal from U.S. Rep. Bryan Steil, R-Janesville, and U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Oshkosh.
The Trump administration offered assistance from the Department of Homeland Security. Agency agents were deployed to Portland, Ore., last month following violent protests there against the wishes of state and local officials.
“The governor informed them we’d 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,” said Evers spokeswoman Britt Cudaback.
President Trump on Twitter last night urged Evers to call in the National Guard, even though the guv had already done so.
The emergency order Evers announced about six hours before Trump’s tweet authorized doubling the National Guard’s presence in Kenosha County to 250. Meanwhile, Acting Madison Police Chief Vic Wahl said yesterday afternoon the department had yet to ask for aid from the Wisconsin National Guard.
“Governor should call in the National Guard in Wisconsin. It is ready, willing, and more than able. End problem FAST!” Trump tweeted.
Trump sent the tweet just after Meadows went on Fox News, saying the administration was sending a message to Kenosha that “the president is willing to help. It’s time to take control.”
Meadows added he wasn’t optimistic that the number of National Guard troops expected in Kenosha last night would restore the peace.
“Listen, we have a First Amendment right that allows you to peacefully protest, but you do not have a First Amendment right to loot and to riot,” Meadows said. “And what we’re seeing on the streets of Kenosha just breaks our heart.”
See Trump’s tweet:
See Meadow’s remarks:
Johnson and Steil this morning urged Evers to reconsider his decision to turn down the federal assistance.
Steil called the 250 National Guard troops Evers authorized “woefully insufficient.”
“Although it will not guarantee peace, @GovEvers should reconsider his refusal to accept
@potus offer to send more personnel to restore order,” Johnson tweeted.
See Johnson’s tweet:
See Steil’s statement: