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VP Pence no longer speaking at Wisconsin Lutheran College commencement due to 'escalating events' in Kenosha

Posted at 10:28 AM, Aug 27, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-27 12:40:25-04

Vice President Mike Pence is no longer scheduled to speak at the Wisconsin Lutheran College Commencement on Saturday.

The school announced the decision on its website Thursday, stating that the decision was made in consideration of the "escalating events" in Kenosha.

"The Board of Regents and the administration have jointly decided to present a different speaker instead of the Vice President," said the school in a statement.

Rev. Mark Jeske of St. Marcus Lutheran Church will speak at the commencement instead.

"Vice President Pence understands and supports Wisconsin Lutheran College’s decision to prioritize the safety and well-being of their students, and wishes the students well as they celebrate the accomplishment of graduating from college and as they embark on their next journey," said Pence's Press Secretary Devin O'Malley.

Protests in Kenosha went into its fourth night on Wednesday, following the police shooting of Jacob Blake on Sunday, Aug. 23. Blake was shot several times in the back by Kenosha Police Officer Rusten Sheskey, officials say.

Protests turned violent on the third night, resulting in the death of two people at the protests.

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