MADISON — Gov. Tony Evers has declared a state of emergency in Wisconsin amid increasing tense unrest over the police shooting of Jacob Blake last weekend.
Executive Order #86 signed by Evers directs state agencies to continue to assist the statewide response to protests as well as looting and vandalism in Wisconsin cities. The order also calls active-duty units of the Wisconsin National Guard to support local authorities as they attempt to protect infrastructure and businesses.
On Monday, Evers authorized 150 members of the Wisconsin National Guard to deploy to Kenosha County. On Tuesday, the governor announced that that number has been raised to a total of 250 members of the Guard.
Evers clarified in a release Tuesday that 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 on this situation. Any Guard members called to active duty may only be used to provide support to local law enforcement and to protect critical infrastructure and cultural institutions necessary for the well-being of the community.
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The father of Jacob Blake says his son was left paralyzed from the waist down after he was shot by a Kenosha police officer Sunday.
According to reports, Blake’s father said that he was told his son was shot eight times during the Sunday evening confrontation with police, which was captured on cellphone video and led to two nights of unrest in Kenosha so far.