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Gov. Tony Evers Asks Trump To Reconsider Kenosha Visit

President's Stop Comes Amid Tensions Surrounding Jacob Blake Shooting

President Donald Trump
President Donald Trump speaks during an event on police reform, in the Rose Garden of the White House, Tuesday, June 16, 2020, in Washington. Evan Vucci/AP Photo

Gov. Tony Evers urged President Donald Trump on Sunday to reconsider his visit to Kenosha on Tuesday amid fury over the police shooting of Jacob Blake in the back.

Evers, along with Kenosha Mayor John Antaramian, said in statements that a visit could distract from the city’s focus on healing amid the tensions.

“I, along with other community leaders who have reached out, are concerned about what your presence will mean for Kenosha and our state,” Evers wrote in a letter sent to Trump on Sunday. “I am concerned your presence will only hinder our healing.”

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However, some members of the Kenosha County Board of Supervisors asked that Trump keep his plans to visit the city, in a letter also dated on Sunday.

“Please do not cancel your plans to visit Kenosha to meet with citizens and business owners devastated by the violence that took places this past week,” read the letter, signed by seven of the board’s 23 members. “Kenoshans are hurting and looking for leadership, and your leadership in this time of crisis is greatly appreciated by those devastated by the violence in Kenosha.”

White House spokesman Judd Deere told reporters Saturday night that Trump will be meeting with law enforcement officers and “surveying” some of the damage from recent protests. The visit is certain to exacerbate tensions in Kenosha, where a crowd of about 1,000 demonstrators gathered outside a courthouse Saturday to denounce police violence.

“Moreover, as the Kenosha community continues their recovery efforts, I am likewise concerned that an in-person visit from you will require a massive re-direction of these resources to support your visit at a time when it is critical that we continue to remain focused on keeping the people of Kenosha safe and supporting the community’s response,” Evers said.

Trump’s opponent for reelection, former Vice President Joe Biden, has accused Trump of rooting for violence amid unrest in Wisconsin.

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