Jacob Blake: Donald Trump to visit Kenosha amid unrest

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FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump departs on travel to the Camp David presidential retreat from the South Lawn at the White House in Washington, U.S., May 1, 2020. REUTERS/Carlos Barria/File Photo

US President Donald Trump is to visit the city in Wisconsin which has seen widespread unrest since a black man was shot in the back and seriously injured by a policeman.

Mr Trump will travel to Kenosha on Tuesday, the White House said.

The president will meet with law enforcement officers and assess the damage from the recent protests.

Jacob Blake was paralysed after being shot seven times by an officer and it is not clear if he will walk again.

 

The shooting sparked sometimes violent demonstrations in Kenosha and in other cities across the US.

The year had already seen widespread protests against racism and police brutality over the death of in police custody of another black man, George Floyd.

What do we know about Trump’s visit?

The president will meet with local police and “survey damage from recent riots”, White House spokesman Judd Deere said.

Asked if the president would meet the family of Mr Blake, Mr Deere said the schedule had yet to be confirmed.

Media captionJacob Blake’s sister: ‘I have been watching police murder people that look like me for years’

The US president has said little directly about last Sunday’s shooting.

When asked on Friday if he thought the officer who shot Mr Blake should be charged, the president said: “Well I’m looking into it very strongly. I’ll be getting reports,” adding that he “didn’t like the sight of it”.

President Trump has made law and order a key part of his bid for re-election this year.

In his speech at the Republican National Convention he condemned the “rioting, looting, arson and violence we have seen in Democrat-run cities”, citing Kenosha and several others.

Wisconsin is a swing state that backed Barack Obama twice but was narrowly won by Donald Trump in 2016 by just over 20,000 votes.

What’s the latest in Kenosha?

Around 1,000 people took to the streets of Kenosha on Saturday chanting “Black lives matter”.

Jacob Blake Sr called for protesters to remain peaceful while calling for justice for his son.

“Good people of this city understand. If we tear it up we have nothing,” he told the crowd. “Stop it. Show them for one night we don’t have to tear up nothing.”

More than 1,000 National Guard soldiers were in Kenosha, many from other states, the Reuters news agency reported.

Meanwhile, lawyers for a teenager charged with killing two people during the unrest in Kenosha have said he will fight charges against him on the grounds of self-defence.

Kyle Rittenhouse, 17, had told journalists it was “his job” to guard buildings in Kenosha against protesters.

Videos on social media appeared to show a man with a rifle being chased by a crowd before he fell to the ground and appeared to fire at them.

“Kyle Rittenhouse stood up to protect his community and his country,” John Pierce, one of Rittenhouse’s lawyers, said on Twitter.

Media captionTwo people were killed and one injured on the third night of unrest
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