Evers recruits Alabama, Arizona and Michigan National Guard to augment Kenosha presence

    An armored police vehicle sits nearby where protesters gathered on August 24th, 2020. (Photo by Isiah Holmes)An armored police vehicle sits nearby where protesters gathered on August 24th, 2020. (Photo by Isiah Holmes)
    An armored police vehicle sits near where protesters gathered on Aug. 24. (Photo by Isiah Holmes)

    Evers released details Thursday on other states that were brought into Kenosha Thursday to provide mutual aid in the form of National Guard troops as well as equipment. This is the fourth day since Jacob Blake was shot in the back by Kenosha police on Sunday and the fourth escalation of the Guard in that city of 100,000 in southwestern Wisconsin.

    The agreements are carried out within an Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC). Evers said in a statement that troop numbers will be adjusted as needed. 

    Protesters gather in Kenosha the second night of protests on August 24th, 2020. This was before the clashes with police later that night. (Photo by Isiah Holmes)
    Protesters gather in Kenosha the second night of protests on August 24th, 2020. (Photo by Isiah Holmes)

    Guard troops from Arizona, Michigan and Alabama joined the Wisconsin National Guard members already located in Kenosha. Evers upped that number to 500 on Wednesday. The Guard first arrived on Aug. 24, the day officials from Kenosha made the request. His Republican critics and some Kenosha officials have asked for total troop numbers closer to 2,000 in the small area. Evers has been under intense political pressure, including phone calls from President Donald Trump and his chief of staff Mark Meadows, to augment the law enforcement presence there. Curfews are in place, Wednesday night it began at 7 pm.

    In announcing the new support, Evers’ office made it clear the troops from other states are doing so under state active duty status, not under a federal status and direction — meaning they remain under their own state’s control and fall under the operational control of the adjutant  general of Wisconsin while they are mobilized.

    Local officials are leading the response in Kenosha and National Guard troops are serving in a support role to assist civil authorities in preserving public safety and individuals’ ability to exercise their First Amendment rights to assemble peaceably,” said Evers’ press office.

    Melanie Conklin
    Melanie Conklin is proud to be a native of the state of Wisconsin, which gave humankind the typewriter, progressivism and deep-fried cheese curds. Her several decades in journalism include political beats and columns at Isthmus newspaper, the Wisconsin State Journal and other publications. When not an ink-stained wretch, she served time inside state, local and federal government in communications. She is excited to be back at the craft of journalism as Deputy Editor of the Wisconsin Examiner. It’s what she’s loved ever since getting her master’s degree in journalism from the UW-Madison. Her family includes one husband, two kids, four dogs and five (or more) chinchillas.