KENOSHA ⏤ The city has closed portions of local roadways, specifically those surrounding the Kenosha County Courthouse ahead of the impending ruling on the Jacob Blake shooting.
Gov. Tony Evers also authorized the National Guard to come and assist local authorities.
The announcement is a result of Kenosha County District Attorney Michael Graveley making his decision this week in whether to charge Kenosha Police Department officer Rusten Sheskey for shooting Blake in the back seven times on Aug. 23, 2020.
Monday, volunteers were once again helping businesses in Downtown board up their windows, and the Blake family also led a march through the city in the evening.
Kenosha Mayor John Antaramian and Police Chief Daniel Miskinis also announced road closures heading into the week.
“These measures are meant to ensure safety to the public, neighborhoods, businesses and protestors,” the local officials said in a release. “There will be an increased police presence around the Public Safety Building, courthouse campus and throughout the city of Kenosha.
The officials also stated there may be closures of the Public Safety Building, Kenosha County Courthouse and Dinosaur Museum.
Crews have blocked off the following roadways around the city as of Monday:
- Sheridan Road from 52nd Street to 60th Street is closed.
- 53rd Street, 54th Street, 55th Street and 56th Street from Sheridan Road west to the railroad tracks are closed.
The train station will be open. However, commuters should allow extra time to get to and from the station, the release said.
Likewise, the mayor and police chief announced the city may modify bus routes. Officials may also temporarily cancel city bus services, if deemed necessary.
Evers authorizes 500 National Guard troops
At the request of local authorities, Gov. Tony Evers authorized approximately 500 Wisconsin National Guard troops to support local law enforcement authorities in Kenosha after officials here requested the Guard’s assistance to help ensure public safety.
“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 release announcing the move. “Our members of the National Guard will be on hand to support local first responders, ensure Kenoshans are able to assemble safely, and to protect critical infrastructure as necessary.”
While in Kenosha, the National Guard will only be used to provide support to local law enforcement. They will also protect “critical infrastructure and cultural institutions necessary for the well-being of the community.”
They will likewise assist the Kenosha Fire Department and first responders.
However, Evers made it clear the National Guard “may not be used to impede the ability of people to peacefully protest.”
They also may not impede the ability of the media to report on this situation, he said.
“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,” said Maj. Gen. Paul Knapp, Wisconsin’s adjutant general. “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.”
To find more information from the city on its plan during any potential unrest in the city of Kenosha, visit:
- Kenosha Police Department Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/.Kenoshapolice/;
- Kenosha Police Department Twitter feed at https://twitter.com/@kenoshapolice;
- City of Kenosha Twitter feed at https://twitter.com/City_of_Kenosha;
- Or the city of Kenosha website at https://www.kenosha.org/. Click on the red icon that reads “Public Safety Statements.” This will take you to a compilation of all items released to the public, and they will be posted on this page as they are sent out.
If necessary, emergency alert messages may also be sent via cellphones, officials stated.