Yesterday, Donald Trump visited Kenosha, Wisconsin, to support police officers, and branded protests in the city as acts of “domestic terror”.
Last week, protests broke out in Kenosha, following the shooting of Jacob Blake. It was the latest development in the #BlackLivesMatter movement which has defined a prolonged period of civil unrest in the United States this year, initially sparked by the killing of George Floyd.
Trump has been blamed for the events in Kenosha, due to his polarising rhetoric, with his rival in this year’s presidential elections, Joe Biden, saying that he’s “recklessly encouraging” the violence.
Yesterday Trump visited Kenosha to offer his support to law enforcement after Jacob Blake’s shooting and blamed “domestic terror” for the “destruction” in the city. He also said that the media only focusses on “bad” incidents involving police officers”.
“These are not acts of peaceful protest, but really domestic terror,” he told local business leaders at a round table meeting in a high school gym, as reported by BBC. “You have people that choke. They are under tremendous pressure. And they may be there for 15 years and have a spotless record and all of a sudden they’re faced with a decision. They have a quarter of a second to make a decision. And if they make a wrong decision, one way or the other, they’re either dead or they’re in big trouble.
“And people have to understand that. They choke sometimes.”
Trump did show some empathy for people that are hurt in confrontations with police officers, saying “[I feel] terribly for anybody who goes through that”, but also said that he doesn’t believe that these incidents are a result of systemic racism.
Trump also confirmed that he’s sent the National Guard into Kenosha, but that they were deployed by Wisconsin governor, Tony Evers, and supported by 200 federal law enforcement officers. He also said that he will be providing nearly $4 million to assist Kenosha businesses that were damaged during the protests, and another $1 million to the city’s police.
The Kenosha police confirmed that 105 out of 175 suspects arrested during the unrest came from outside the city, which adds substance to claims by demonstrators that outside agitators hijacked their protests.