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Trump sends federal forces to Wisconsin amid protests against police violence

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
A US man holds up a sign as demonstrators take part in a protest following the police shooting of Jacob Blake, a Black man, in Kenosha, Wisconsin, US, on August 26, 2020. (Photo by Reuters)

US President Donald Trump has announced the deployment of more federal agents and the National Guard to Wisconsin as protests continue for three consecutive days against the police shooting of African American Jacob Blake.

The president said in a tweet on Wednesday, "TODAY, I will be sending federal law enforcement and the National Guard to Kenosha, WI to restore LAW and ORDER!"

“My team just got off the phone with Governor Evers who agreed to accept federal assistance," he wrote. “We will NOT stand for looting, arson, violence, and lawlessness on American streets.”

Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers' office did not confirm if he requested for assistance.

The governor had already declared a state of emergency and activated the National Guard and said in a Tweet late Tuesday that he planned to increase its presence "to ensure individuals can exercise their right safely, protect state buildings and critical infrastructure, and support first responders and fire fighters."

On Wednesday, police in Kenosha, Wisconsin, said in a statement that two people were killed and another was injured in a shooting during the protests the day before.

The demonstrations over the police shooting gave way to clashes between protesters and armed vigilantes.

Protests erupted against US police brutality and for justice in Kenosha on Sunday night after police shot Jacob, an unarmed black man.

He was shot seven times in the back in an incident that was captured on video. Blake's family says he is currently paralyzed from the waist down.

The U.S. Justice Department has deployed more than 200 law-enforcement agents in Kenosha, a spokeswoman said on Wednesday.

The department "has deployed 200+ agents and marshals from the FBI, ATF, and USMS to assist state and local law enforcement in the response to rioting and unrest and will continue to surge Kenosha with federal resources as needed and necessary," spokeswoman Kerri Kupec wrote on Twitter.

Trump has made “enforcing law and order” a major theme of his reelection campaign. He has already sent federal agents to Portland, which has been the scene of protests for almost three months, against racial inequality and police violence.

The president accused his Democratic rival Joe Biden of wanting to "defund the police," saying that there will be chaos in the streets under a Biden presidency.

Biden, however, promised to end what he described as “season of darkness” under the Trump administration if he wins office in the November election.

He said last week that the US might be ready to end the "scourge" of racism.


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