Republicans are trying to mislead Wisconsinites for their own political gain. Despite their arguments, the facts show the state authorized additional law enforcement support the first night of unrest in Kenosha and that Gov. Evers ordered up the Wisconsin National Guard within eleven hours, continuing to expand the Guard’s presence each day. The truth is, local law enforcement and leaders from both parties praised Gov. Evers’ response. 

The Facts: The state of Wisconsin fulfilled every local request for support, including having Wisconsin National Guard troops on the ground within hours of Kenosha County’s request.

  • PolitiFact rated claims that Gov. Evers refused to send National Guard members until lives were lost FALSE. [PolitiFact, 9/15/21]

Even before the county’s request for National Guard support, Wisconsin Emergency Management sent assistance from neighboring agencies, including the Wisconsin State Patrol, the same night Jacob Blake was shot. Hours later, Kenosha County requested that Gov. Evers authorize the Wisconsin National Guard and he quickly fulfilled that request. After that Gov. Evers continued to deliver additional resources as they were requested from local agencies, which is how the process is designed to work.

Local Leaders Praised Gov. Evers Response:

Kenosha Sheriff David Beth: “The state has been fantastic as far as sending resources, from the very first minute that we asked them” -Thursday, Aug. 27th [Spectrum News]

Kenosha Mayor John Antaramian: “When asked if the Guard should’ve responded more quickly last summer, Antaramian said Friday ‘I don’t know that they could’ve,’ adding that every request for more Guardsmen was met.” [Journal Times]

Kenosha County Executive Jim Kreuser: Governor Evers has been very supportive to the community and I think everyone needs to know that.” [8/26/20 Press Conference, VIDEO, 3:58]

Claims about the federal government’s involvement in Kenosha have also been found false. The National Guard is not activated or directed by the federal government. In addition to sending hundreds of Wisconsin National Guard members, Gov. Evers worked with other states to secure additional National Guard members and resources to support local law enforcement.

Gov. Evers’ response didn’t stop once the cameras and crowds went away. Since then, Gov. Evers has been working to help small businesses repair and rebuild. He has seen firsthand how resilient this community is and is investing millions to help them move forward.  

Wisconsin’s recovery isn’t only about fixing buildings. The shooting of Jacob Blake again made clear how much work is left to do to address the systemic problems in our society. Following the shooting, Gov. Evers called a special session to improve police accountability and transparency, including clear use of force standards. When the legislature failed to act, he used his power to sign an executive order directing state-managed law enforcement to update use of force policies. Gov. Evers is committed to working with the legislature to take up more robust, comprehensive reforms and he won’t be satisfied until this happens.

State Response and Event Timeline:

Sunday, August 23rd: Hours after Jacob Blake is shot by a Kenosha police officer, Wisconsin Emergency Management responds to a local request authorizing neighboring agencies to assist, including the Wisconsin State Patrol.

  • 5:15 PM: Jacob Blake is shot and seriously injured by Kenosha Police Officer Rusten Sheskey.
  • 9:31 PM: Wisconsin Emergency Management fulfills Kenosha County’s request, sending officers from neighboring agencies, including the Wisconsin State Patrol. [PolitiFact]

Monday, August 24th: After the first night of unrest, Kenosha County requested Wisconsin National Guard support, which Gov. Evers authorized.

  • 3:05 AM: Kenosha County submits a formal request for the Wisconsin National Guard Quick Reaction Force, which is later authorized by Gov. Evers. [PolitiFact]

Tuesday, August 25th: Gov. Evers declares a State of Emergency and increases the Wisconsin National Guard presence.

  • The Wisconsin National Guard also begins coordinating with other states to obtain additional National Guard support. [PolitiFact]
  • 2:33 PM: Gov. Evers signs Executive Order #86, which declares a State of Emergency and increases Wisconsin National Guard presence to 250 members. [Office of Gov. Evers, Press Release]

Wednesday, August 26th:

Thursday, August 27th:

  • 12:24 PM: Gov. Evers announces National Guard troops from Arizona, Michigan, and Alabama will support local authorities under the Emergency Management Assistance Compact. Evers also increases Wisconsin National Guard presence to 750 members. [Office of Gov. Evers, Press Release] [Politifact]