LATEST UPDATES FROM KENOSHA
Democratic Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers says he did not want presidential candidate Joe Biden to visit Kenosha where he met with family members of Jacob Blake, a Black man shot by police.
Evers also asked President Donald Trump not to come. Both Trump and Bide ignored Evers’ requests and made stops to Kenosha, the latest epicenter of racial unrest in the country.
Evers says he would “prefer that no one be here, be it candidate Trump or candidate Biden.” But the governor says “candidates can make their decisions” and “it is what it is.”
Evers said in a conference call Thursday that he made his position to the Biden campaign clear, but they had already decided to come to Wisconsin. Biden announced the trip on Wednesday and came on Thursday.
Evers sent Trump a letter telling him that his visit would not help Kenosha heal. Evers says he was upset that Trump and others holding a round table discussion inside did not wear masks, despite a statewide mandate to wear them.
Evers did not send Biden a letter but says he told him to “be concerned about what I’m concerned about.” Evers did not specify what that was.
Ben Crump, the lawyer for Jacob Blake released a statement Thursday afternoon about the Blake family's meeting with Democratic Presidential Candidate Joe Biden earlier in the day.
Crump called the conversation "very engaging."
"Jacob Jr. shared the pain he is enduring, and the vice president commiserated," Crump said in the written statement. "It was very obvious that Vice President Biden cared, as he extended to Jacob Jr. a sense of humanity, treating him as a person worthy of consideration and prayer."
Democratic Presidential Nominee Joe Biden is participating in a community discussion in Kenosha Thursday afternoon.
Last month, a white police officer shot Jacob Blake, a 29-year-old Black man, seven times in the back. Large scale rioting and peaceful protests followed.
A crowd gathered outside a Kenosha church cheered as Biden’s motorcade arrived.
Some 30 protesters marched past Grace Lutheran Church ahead of Biden’s arrival, chanting “Black Lives Matter!” while being trailed by a police vehicle instructing them to move out of the street. A larger group of 100 in front of the church chanted “Dump Trump! Dump Trump! Dump Trump!” as Biden’s motorcade rolled up. A small group of people waving Trump/Pence and “Don’t Tread on Me” flags stood on the corner.
Blake’s uncle, Justin, was also outside the church, criticizing Attorney General William Barr for remarks a day earlier that Blake was shot while committing a felony. Kenosha’s police union has said Blake, a Black man, had a knife when he was shot. Investigators have said a knife was in Blake’s vehicle but haven’t given more details.
“Little Jake had no weapon,” Justin Blake said, accusing Barr of trying to justify the shooting.
Supporters of Joe Biden and supporters of President Donald Trump have been arriving at the courthouse in downtown Kenosha ahead of Biden's visit to the city.
According to a media pool report and CNN, Jill and Joe Biden met with the family of Jacob Blake in a private meeting at the Milwaukee airport before traveling to Kenosha.
- Jacob Blake, Sr., Jacob Blake’s father
- Letetra Widman, Jacob Blake’s sister
- Myron Jackson, Jacob Blake’s brother
- Zietha Blake, Jacob Blake’s sister
- Julia Jackson, Jacob Blake’s mother (by phone)
- Ben Crump, Jacob Blake’s attorney (by phone)
- Patrick Salvi, Sr., on Jacob Blake’s legal team
- B’Ivory LaMarr, on Jacob Blake’s legal team
Joe Biden has arrived in Milwaukee and is set to meet family of Jacob Blake, as the Democratic presidential nominee begins a day of events in Wisconsin.
The battleground state finds itself at the center of a national reckoning on racism, police violence and protests after a white Kenosha police officer shot Blake, a Black man, in the back.
Biden believes he can use his trip Thursday for community leaders to find common ground.
He plans a public discussion with business figures, civic leaders and law enforcement. President Donald Trump visited Kenosha two days ago but concentrated on praising law enforcement and accusing protesters of “domestic terrorism.” Trump has a Thursday evening rally scheduled in Pennsylvania.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.