Gov. Evers mobilizes National Guard to Kenosha ahead of charging decision for Jacob Blake shooting

Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers

MADISON, Wis. — Gov. Tony Evers has authorized the Wisconsin National Guard to respond to Kenosha leading up to the charging decision in the police shooting of Jacob Blake.

A news release said local officials requested assistance to ensure public safety in the event of violent protests.

“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 statement. “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.”

Roughly 500 troops will be mobilized in advance of the decision, which has not yet been announced. According to Kenosha Mayor John Antaramian, the decision will likely be made within the first half of the month.

“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.”

Kenosha police officer Rusten Sheskey shot Blake in the back seven times after responding to a “domestic incident” on Aug. 23. The shooting resulted in a number of protests throughout the state.