KENOSHA — The Wisconsin National Guard has deployed to Kenosha County Monday to assist local authorities amid unrest over the officer-involved shooting of Jacob Blake.
Gov. Tony Evers confirmed during a press conference Monday that a total of 125 Guards members will be deploying to Kenosha.
Evers' declaration of a state of emergency allowed the Guard to be deployed.
The governor explained that the Guards' mission in Kenosha will be to guard infrastructure from looting and vandalism, as well as to protect firefighters who are involved in putting out fires and other tasks amid unrest.
“This is a limited mobilization of the National Guard focused on supporting the needs of local first responders to protect critical infrastructure, such as utilities and fire stations, and to ensure Kenoshians are able to assemble safely," Evers added in a statement Monday.
As TMJ4 has reported, 29-year-old Blake was shot near a home at 40th and 28th streets in Kenosha just after 5 p.m.
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“Serving our fellow Wisconsin citizens and assisting civil authorities during times of need is one of core missions in the National Guard,” said Maj. Gen. Paul Knapp, Wisconsin’s adjutant general, in the release. “Our Citizen Soldiers and Airmen are well-trained and prepared to assist in any way we can in an effort to preserve public safety.”
The ACLU of Wisconsin issued a response to the National Guard coming to Kenosha.
"Deploying the National Guard in response to people exercising their right to protest is unnecessary. People in Kenosha have a constitutional right to express their indignation over the police shooting of Jacob Blake, as well as to demand an end to the epidemic of police violence that has systematically harmed and killed Black and brown people for generations," an ACLU statement said.
Police did not say what led up to the shooting but said that officers offered immediate aid.
In a video of the incident, which was taken from across the street, Blake walks around the front of his SUV to his driver-side door as officers follow him with their guns pointed. As Blake opens the door and leans into the SUV, at least one officer opens fire while Blake has his back turned. Seven shots can be heard.
Kenosha police said Blake is in serious condition.
A large crowd gathered near the area Sunday evening, eventually moving into downtown Kenosha, setting fires and causing other damage.
Blake's family says children were in the vehicle at the time of the shooting.
The Kenosha County Sheriff's Department and Wisconsin State Patrol are currently investigating the incident.