Friday, August 28, 2020

Whitmer deploys Michigan National Guard to streets of Kenosha, Wis., amid unrest

Posted By on Fri, Aug 28, 2020 at 10:17 AM

click to enlarge Gov. Gretchen Whitmer addresses the 3rd Battalion, 238th Aviation Regiment, of the Michigan National Guard. - GOV. GRETCHEN WHITMER'S OFFICE
  • Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's office
  • Gov. Gretchen Whitmer addresses the 3rd Battalion, 238th Aviation Regiment, of the Michigan National Guard.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is sending Michigan National Guard troops to Kenosha, Wis., where unrest has broken out after police shot a 29-year-old Black man in the back seven times.

Whitmer authorized the use of two National Guard companies at the request of Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers, also a Democrat. They are expected to join National Guard troops from Arizona and Alabama as early as Friday.

“I am confident that our guardsmen and women will work hard to keep our neighbors in Wisconsin safe while working to protect their First Amendment rights to peaceful assembly,” Whitmer said in a news release.

The Justice Department is investigating the Aug. 23 police shooting of Jacob Blake, who was partially paralyzed. Protesters have taken to the streets every day since the shooting, calling for the officer to be charged.

On Tuesday night, Kyle Rittenhouse, a 17-year-old supporter of President Donald Trump who idolized the police, is accused of fatally shooting two protesters and wounding a third.

Whitmer said the Michigan National Guard troops are not federalized, and she can call them back at any time.

“The Michigan National Guard is always ready to support civil authorities when requested to assist,” Maj. Gen. Paul Rogers, adjutant general and director of the Michigan Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, said. “The men and women of the Michigan National Guard are well trained, equipped, and ready to assist our neighbors and emergency response partners in Wisconsin to protect people, their property, and their right to peacefully protest.”

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