Wisconsin governor urges Pres. Trump to reconsider Kenosha trip


Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers speaks during a news conference Thursday, Aug. 27, 2020, in Kenosha, Wis. The city has suffered from unrest in the wake of the police shooting of Jacob Blake. Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes is at rear. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)

(CNN) — Democratic Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers wrote a letter to President Donald Trump on Sunday urging him to reconsider his planned visit to Kenosha, Wisconsin, this week as the city continues to grapple with racial unrest following the police shooting of Jacob Blake.

“I, along with other community leaders who have reached out, are concerned about what your presence will mean for Kenosha and our state. I am concerned your presence will only hinder our healing. I am concerned your presence will only delay our work to overcome division and move forward together,” Evers wrote to the President.

“It is our job as elected officials to lead by example and to be a calming presence for the people we know are hurting, mourning, and trying to cope with trauma. Now is not the time for divisiveness,” he continued.

“Now is not the time for elected officials to ignore armed militants and out-of-state instigators who want to contribute to our anguish.”

The letter comes one day after the White House announced Trump would travel to Kenosha Tuesday to meet with law enforcement and to survey some of the damage from the recent protests.

Kenosha is the latest city at the center of racial unrest after Blake, a Black man, was shot in the back seven times by a White police officer. Local officials have not discussed many details about Blake’s shooting but continue addressing the nightly protests in Kenosha, especially after two people at a protest were killed and a third was seriously injured this week.

A 17-year-old was arrested Wednesday and is facing multiple charges involving several people for his alleged role in a shooting incident, authorities said.

When asked if the President would meet with Blake’s family, White House spokesman Judd Deere said that the schedule hasn’t been fully ironed out yet.

Evers adds in his letter to Trump that he is also “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.”

His message to the President builds on comments from Wisconsin Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes who said earlier Sunday that Trump’s presence would not be helpful in Kenosha.

“You look at the incendiary remarks that the President has made, they centered an entire convention around creating more animosity and creating more division around what is going on in Kenosha,” Barnes told CNN’s John King on “Inside Politics.”

“So, I don’t know how given any of the previous statements that the President made that he intends to come here to be helpful. And we absolutely don’t need that right now.”

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