Wisconsin governor asks Pres. Trump to reconsider visit to Kenosha

Midwest

President Donald Trump speaks during the first day of the Republican National Convention Monday, Aug. 24, 2020, in Charlotte, N.C. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

KENOSHA, Wis. (NewsNation) — Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers asked President Trump to reconsider his recently announced visit to Kenosha in a letter on Sunday.

“I, along with other community leaders who have reached out, are concerned about what your presence will mean for Kenosha and our state. I am concerned your presence will only hinder our healing. I am concerned your presence will only delay our work to overcome division and move forward together,” Evers wrote in the letter.

Trump did not immediately respond to Ever’s request.

Trump is scheduled to meet with officials and survey damage from recent protests, the president’s deputy assistant said in a tweet Saturday night.

The recent protests stem from the shooting of a Black man last week. Jacob Blake was shot by police seven times in a confrontation captured on cellphone video.

The officers weren’t wearing body cameras because the Kenosha Police Department doesn’t mandate their use. All officers involved are now under administrative leave, which is standard practice.

Blake is paralyzed from the shooting, his family said, and is recovering in a Milwaukee hospital.

The shooting sparked new protests against racial injustice and police brutality, just three months after the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police touched off a wider reckoning on race.

Protesters have filled Kenosha’s streets every night, and on Tuesday, two people were killed by an armed civilian. Kyle Rittenhouse, a 17-year-old from Antioch, Illinois, is charged in the fatal shooting.

The commander of the National Guard said Friday that more than 1,000 members had been deployed to help keep the peace, and more were on the way.

Investigators have said little about what led to Blake’s shooting. The Kenosha police union said Blake had a knife and fought with officers, putting one of them in a headlock as two efforts to stun him with a Taser were unsuccessful. State investigators have said only that officers saw a knife on the floor of the car.

In the cellphone footage recorded by a bystander, Blake walks from the sidewalk around the front of an SUV to his driver-side door as officers follow him with their guns drawn and shout at him. As Blake opens the door and leans into the SUV, an officer grabs his shirt from behind and opens fire. Three of Blake’s children were in the vehicle.

The man who recorded the video, 22-year-old Raysean White, said he heard police yell at Blake, “Drop the knife! Drop the knife!” before gunfire erupted. White said he didn’t see a knife in Blake’s hands.

Ben Crump, an attorney for Blake’s family has said Blake did nothing to provoke police and has called for officer Rusten Sheskey’s arrest.

This story is developing. Refresh for updates.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

© 1998 - 2020 Nexstar Inc. | All Rights Reserved.