Up to 200 federal law enforcement officers and up to 2,000 National Guard personnel from other states will be in Kenosha Wednesday night. That’s in addition to 500 members of the Wisconsin called up by Governor Tony Evers, following three nights of violence, including the murders of two people overnight.
“If it brings peace to the people . . . the good people of Kenosha want them here,” said Kenosha County Sheriff David Beth. “We’ll take whatever resources we can get to take care of this. There are people from Kenosha that are part of this, but a lot of people that really come in and do the damage are from outside Kenosha.”
Beth commented during a Wednesday afternoon press conference, shortly after police in Antioch, Illinois announced the arrest of 17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse for the shooting that left two people dead and one wounded.
Earlier in the day, state Assembly Speaker Robin Vos placed the blame for those deaths on Governor Tony Evers, claiming the Democrat failed to provide National Guard personnel in the numbers requested by local officials. “A hundred and twenty five is nowhere near enough. He then doubled the number, thinking that that was the political thing to do instead of listening to the locals. And now we have two people dead,” Vos said on conservative talk radio station WISN in Milwaukee. “That is entirely on Governor Evers shoulders, because he refused to do what the locals asked for.”
In addition to Rittenhouse, who was armed with an AR-15 style rifle, there were perhaps dozens of other armed men and women on the streets Tuesday night, many of them apparently members of self-identified militia groups.
“I don’t need more guns on the street in the community when we’re trying to keep people safe. Law enforcement is trained. They are the ones who should do the job,” said Major General Paul Knapp, adjutant general of the Wisconsin National Guard. “It would be helpful for everyone to realize that,” Knapp said at the press conference.
Sheriff Beth said people would also be expected to clear the streets earlier than on previous nights, with an 8:00 curfew effective through Sunday.