National Guard on standby for possible protest ahead of Rittenhouse decision
Governor Tony Evers of Wisconsin activated nearly 500 members of his state’s National Guard ahead of a verdict in the Kyle Rittenhouse murder trial in Kenosha. Officials said soldiers would be kept on standby outside the city but would be ready to help if requested by local law enforcement.
“I urge those who are not otherwise from the region to please respect the community by reconsidering any plans to travel there, and encourage those who wish to assemble and exercise their First Amendment rights safely and peacefully.” can to,” said Mr. Evers. a statement.
Last year, after a white Kenosha police officer shot a black man, Jacob Blake, several nights of demonstrations in the city turned violent and destructive. Mr Evers sent hundreds of guardsmen into the city in response.
Amid that chaos, Rittenhouse, a teenager from Illinois, arrives in downtown Kenosha with a high-powered rifle and first aid kit, claiming they intend to protect property and provide medical care.
But as the night got more tense, Mr. Rittenhouse shot three men, two of whom died. Prosecutors charged him with murder and shot him without any legal justification. Mr Rittenhouse, whose cause has been endorsed by many conservatives and gun rights activists, has claimed self-defense.
In the months that followed, Kenosha remained peaceful when local prosecutors refused to charge the officer who shot Mr Blake, and when federal prosecutors said they would not pursue charges against the officer.
Mr Rittenhouse’s trial, which played out at a courthouse near the shooting site this month, has been watched closely, but without significant disruption or major protests in the city. Still, some are uneasy about the possible backlash to the verdict.
Kenosha County Sheriff David Beth said: “We are in contact with the governor’s office and have a lot of resources available if needed.” “We are prepared for any situation as this trial comes to a close.”
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