Gov. Tony Evers authorized 500 members of the Wisconsin National Guard to support law enforcement in Kenosha Wednesday afternoon.
It comes after a deadly night in Kenosha on Tuesday. Two people were killed and one other was injured in shootings during protests sparked by the police shooting of Jacob Blake on Sunday evening.
Evers first authorized 125 National Guard members to protect infrastructure and maintain public safety on Monday. He increased their number on Tuesday to 250 members, and to 500 members on Wednesday. The Governor has also declared a state of emergency.
A press release from the Governor’s office says, “Any Guard members called to active duty may only be used to provide support to local law enforcement and to protect critical infrastructure and cultural institutions necessary for the well-being of the community, and to provide support to first responders such as the Kenosha Fire Department. The Wisconsin National Guard may not be used to impede the ability of people to peacefully protest or impede the ability of the media to report on this situation.”
Shortly after Evers announced increased presence from the Wisconsin National Guard, President Donald Trump tweeted that federal law enforcement officers will respond to Kenosha on Wednesday.
Gov. Evers turned down federal help on Tuesday. A spokeswoman for the governor said the governor spoke with White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows on Wednesday.
“Gov. Evers has been working with several state partners to get additional National Guard and state patrol support. I can confirm the governor spoke with Mark Meadows this morning. The federal government is planning to assist in facilitating conversations with other state partners and provide FBI support to our state response,” Britt Cudaback said.