Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers sent a letter to President Trump on Sunday urging him to “reconsider” his plans to visit Kenosha, where protests and violence are still unfolding following the shooting of Jacob Blake by police.
“This past week has been particularly difficult. Kenosha and communities across Wisconsin are enduring extraordinary grief, grappling with a Black man being shot seven times and the loss of two additional lives on Tuesday night at the hands of an out-of-state armed militant,” Evers wrote. “When I visited Kenosha last week, what I saw was a community working to deal with the trauma and pain of these events and extreme loss.”
The White House announced on Saturday that Trump would visit Kenosha on Tuesday, two weeks after Jacob Blake was shot seven times by a white police officer, paralyzing him from the waist down. During the unrest that followed, two people were fatally shot and a third was wounded as several buildings were looted and set ablaze. Kyle Rittenhouse, a 17-year-old from Illinois, has been charged in connection to the killings. On Friday, Trump said of the shooting, “It was not a good sight. I didn’t like the sight of it, certainly, and I think most people would agree with that.”
But Evers says that he fears Trump’s presence will do more harm than good.
“I, along with other community leaders who have reached out, are concerned about what your presence will mean for Kenosha and our state,” he wrote. “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 sentiments were echoed by state Attorney General Josh Kaul, who warned that Trump “should rethink his plans and give Kenosha residents space to heal.”
“Instead of thinking about what’s best for Donald Trump’s campaign, he and his advisors — for once — need to think about what’s best for the people he was elected to represent and not come to Kenosha this week,” Kaul tweeted. “A president should be coming to Kenosha–to help people, to listen, to condemn violence and vigilantism, and to lead. But we know that isn’t Donald Trump.”