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Wisconsin National Guard ends mobilization in Kenosha after Jacob Blake charging decision

According to a press release from Gov. Evers' office, about 500 troops were mobilized in Kenosha.
Credit: AP
Members of a National Guard unit guard a street near the entrance of Bradford High School and a largely white neighborhood in Kenosha, Wis., on Friday, Aug. 28, 2020, as tensions remain high in the city following the police shooting of Jacob Blake, a Black man. (AP Photo/ Russell Contreras) /

KENOSHA, Wis. — The Wisconsin National Guard said it has ended its mobilization to Kenosha, Wisconsin after no charges were filed against police in the shooting of Jacob Blake.

An officer shot Blake in the back seven times on Aug. 23, 2020, after he was walking away from police who were trying to arrest him. Blake was left paralyzed from the waist down. 

On Tuesday, Jan. 5, a Wisconsin prosecutor said he would not file criminal charges against Rusten Sheskey, the officer who shot Blake.

RELATED: No charges against Wisconsin officer who shot Jacob Blake

According to a press release from Gov. Evers' office, about 500 troops were mobilized as requested by local Kenosha authorities. 

“We are continuing to work with our local partners in the Kenosha area to ensure they have the state support they need, just as we have in the past,” said Gov. Evers in the release, sent before the prosecutor's announcement. “Our members of the National Guard will be on hand to support local first responders, ensure Kenoshans are able to assemble safely, and to protect critical infrastructure as necessary.”

According to Wisconsin statutes, National Guard members called to active duty may only be used to provide assistance to local law enforcement and help protect "critical infrastructure and cultural institutions necessary for the well-being of the community." The troops may not be used to obstruct any peaceful protests or the media's ability to report on the situation.

“We work hand-in-hand with communities across Wisconsin to help ensure public safety, and this mobilization represents the culmination of months of planning and partnership with Kenosha,” said Maj. Gen. Paul Knapp, Wisconsin's adjutant general. “We are Citizen Soldiers and Airmen who live and work in the same communities as the citizens we serve, and we are always there for our neighbors when they need us.”

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