Empower Wisconsin | Sept. 2, 2020
By M.D. Kittle
MADISON — President Donald Trump came to Kenosha Tuesday to tell the riot-ravaged city and their worn and weary law enforcers that he stands with them and against “anti-police and anti-America forces.”
Trump came to the Lake Michigan city against the urging of liberals like Gov. Tony Evers who insisted the president’s presence would only “hinder our healing.”
For many, Trump’s trip to Kenosha — and his quick response to help quell the nightmarish “civil unrest” that swept through the community last week — was the help they had begged for.
For a Kenosha police force vilified by politicians, including Wisconsin’s governor, Trump’s visit was a welcome respite from the storm of abuse they’ve endured since the Aug. 23 officer-involved shooting of a black man sparked another costly battle in the left’s war on cops.
“Thank you for being a president who likes law enforcement,” Kenosha County Sheriff David Beth told Trump at a press conference.
The meeting with the media followed the chief executive’s tour of the damage and discussions with the hard hit business owners and local and state officials. Trump announced a federal aid package, including $4 million to help broken businesses, $1 million to assist local law enforcement, and another $42 million statewide to hire more prosecutors and assist police to “hold criminals accountable.”
“Violent mobs demolished at least 25 businesses,” Trump said, hammering home the fact that the looting and burning of businesses and the assaults on police and citizens are “not acts of peaceful protest, but, really, domestic terror.”
In Trump fashion, he boasted about his administration’s quick response in sending federal assistance — after Evers had initially rejected the White House’s help. When federal agents were deployed and the governor finally called up enough National Guard members, the four days of anarchy that shook Kenosha’s Uptown District and the surrounding area dissipated.
“You went through hell a few days ago,” Trump said. “We’re safe because of law enforcement, and we have to condemn the anti-police rhetoric.”
Attorney General William Barr also made the trip. It was federal marshals who assisted local law enforcement in arresting a caravan of out-of-state demonstrators suspected of coming to Kenosha to add to the city’s troubles. While the mainstream media has painted the nine individuals arrested as peaceful members of a Black Lives Matter food service group that provides meals to protesters, they couldn’t fully explain why “Food Riot” vehicles contained illegal fireworks, drugs and multiple cans of gasoline.
Barr noted that a majority of the 175 people arrested during last week’s riots were from out of town. He said federal agents had been picking up information of “violent instigators” coming from California, Washington State, Chicago, and elsewhere.”
The attorney general reiterated that his agency and state law enforcement will thoroughly investigate the officer shooting of Jacob Blake, the 29-year-old black man who police have said resisted arrest on multiple occasions during a “domestic incident.” Barr said the process must be dispassionate and follow the facts.
“We do not allow judgements to be reached because of mob violence,” he said.
U.S. Rep Bryan Steil (R-Janesville), who represents Kenosha as part of the 1st Congressional District, spoke of the desperation of community members begging for relief from the rioting. He said he reached out to Trump, and seven minutes later the president was on the phone offering to send help.
“Ultimately, when that offer was accepted (by Evers), you made clear to the criminal element that Kenosha meant business,” the congressman told the president.
Trump had a message for other U.S. cities, run by liberals and reeling from disorder. He specifically addressed the violent protests in Portland, which has been under constant assault by militant leftists for more than 100 days.
“We’re tired of watching it,” the president said, urging Oregon officials to seek federal law enforcement assistance. He hinted that if the chaos continues, his administration will have to act. He said the mayor and the governor continue to turn down his offers of help, and he doesn’t know if it’s political but it “certainly isn’t common sense.”
“We’ve seen tremendous violence,” the president said. “I keep hearing about peaceful protests and then I come to places like this and the town is burned down.”
Featured photo courtesy USA Today Network