Evers authorizes 500 National Guard soldiers ahead of Rittenhouse closing arguments

By: - November 12, 2021 3:45 pm
National Guard entering a checkpoint behind which are dozens of soldiers and officers. (Photo | Isiah Holmes)

National Guard entering a checkpoint behind which are dozens of soldiers and officers. (Photo | Isiah Holmes)

Gov. Tony Evers has authorized the mobilization of 500 Wisconsin Army National Guard troops in Kenosha as trial of 18-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse draws to a close. Closing arguments are expected Monday, after which the jury will begin deliberations. The Kenosha Police Department and sheriff’s office also announced on Nov. 11 that local and federal law enforcement are preparing for Monday.

“We continue to be in close contact with our partners at the local level to ensure the state provides support and resources to help keep the Kenosha community and greater area safe,” Evers said in a statement. “The Kenosha community has been strong, resilient, and has come together through incredibly difficult times these past two years, and that healing is still ongoing. I urge folks who are otherwise not from the area to please respect the community by reconsidering any plans to travel there and encourage those who might choose to assemble and exercise their First Amendment rights to do so safely and peacefully.”

“We stand ready to support our communities during times of need.” Maj. Gen. Paul Knapp Wisconsin’s adjutant general. said in the same statement released by the governor’s office. “In close coordination with the governor, we have assembled approximately 500 soldiers to help keep the Kenosha community safe, should a request from our local partners come in.”

National Guard personnel will be stationed outside Kenosha on standby for any requests by local law enforcement agencies. As in similar situations last year, soldiers will only be able to deploy at the request of local authorities. “The National Guard may not be used to impede the ability of people to peacefully protest or impede the ability of the media to report,” according to Evers’ office.


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Isiah Holmes
Isiah Holmes

Isiah Holmes is a journalist and videographer, and a lifelong resident of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Holmes' video work dates back to his high school days at Wauwatosa East High, when he made a documentary about the local police department. Since then, his writing has been featured in Urban Milwaukee, Isthmus, Milwaukee Stories, Milwaukee Neighborhood News Services, Pontiac Tribune, the Progressive Magazine, Al Jazeera, and other outlets. He was also featured in the 2018 documentary The Chase Key, and was the recipient of the Sierra Club Great Waters Group 2021 Environmental Hero of the Year award. The Wisconsin Freedom of Information Council also awarded Holmes its 2021-2022 Media Openness Award for using the open records laws for investigative journalism. Holmes was also a finalist in the 2021 Milwaukee Press Club Excellence in Journalism Awards alongside the rest of the Wisconsin Examiner's staff. The Silver, or second place, award for Best Online Coverage of News was awarded to Holmes and his colleague Henry Redman for an investigative series into how police responded to the civil unrest and protests in Kenosha during 2020. Holmes was also awarded the Press Club's Silver (second-place) award for Public Service Journalism for articles focusing on police surveillance in Wisconsin.