The streets of Kenosha were dramatically calmer than last week, which saw several nights of tense protests hallmarked by burning buildings and lawless demonstrators in the streets. Authorities appeared to have clear control of the streets, guarding the county courthouse and enforcing the city-wide curfew, which will remain in effect until Labor Day according to a Facebook post from the Kenosha Police Department.
Brendan Gutenschwager, who was on the scene,
reported that the calm streets coincided with an increase in arrests for violations of the curfew.
Footage posted to Twitter shows bare streets with what appears to be unmarked police vehicles patrolling the area:
The quiet night comes ahead of Trump’s highly anticipated visit to Kenosha, which
suffered destruction at the hands of protesters last week following the police-involved shooting of Jacob Blake. Some of the protesters torched businesses, leaving their owners in a state of despair.
“It’s sickening. This is sickening. This is disgraceful, and this is not going to solve any problems,” one woman, whom BlazeTV’s Elijah Schaffer identified as a business owner, said.
“My God. A person that has worked 50 years in a furniture store has nothing and because why?” she asked. “Because a police officer made a bad choice. Don’t take it out on innocent people. All we want to do is make a living and come to work and help people”:
“What I see, I was not prepared for. I knew it was going to be a disaster but I didn’t know what a disaster looked like until I saw it,” one man said after surveying the damage to his family-owned business.
“It’s emotionally hurtful, but we didn’t do anything to anybody. Why did we deserve it?” he asked.
Gov. Tony Evers (D-WI) was slow to
authorize the requested number of National Guard members and initially rejected the White House’s offer for assistance.
reports that over 1,000 Wisconsin National Guard members are now in the city and are “being aided by military police from National Guard units stationed out of Arizona, Michigan, and Alabama, according to Kenosha officials.”
“If I didn’t INSIST on having the National Guard activate and go into Kenosha, Wisconsin, there would be no Kenosha right now,” the president said on Monday, thanking law enforcement and the National Guard:
Mayor John Antaramian (D) has since
said that the National Guard has been “extremely helpful” in maintaining peace in the community.