(The Center Square) – Some leaders in Kenosha really want President Donald Trump to come to town on Tuesday. Others continue to say it might not be the best time.
The president is scheduled to visit Kenosha Tuesday. The purpose of the visit is to see the damage from last week’s riots and to meet with city residents and local leaders.
On Monday, seven members of the Kenosha County board wrote the president, asking him to please come to their city and see for himself what has occurred.
“Please do not cancel your plans to visit Kenosha to meet with citizens and business owners devastated by the violence that took place this past week. Kenoshans are hurting and looking for leadership, and your leadership in this time of crisis is greatly appreciated by those devastated by the violence in Kenosha,” the county board members wrote. “Many Kenoshans are very grateful for the federal assistance that your administration provided. The relief was felt countywide once federal and local law enforcement agencies were able to take proactive steps to prevent additional crime, instead of being outnumbered and spread too thin. We would be honored to have you come to Kenosha so citizens can thank you in person.”
That is a far cry from what Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers said.
“I, along with other community leaders who have reached out, are concerned about what your presence will mean for Kenosha and our state,” Evers wrote in a letter to the president. “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.”
The president simply responded, “See you Tuesday.”
Kenosha County’s Executive, Jim Kreuser, on Monday said the president’s visit will be difficult.
“It’s not the ideal time,” Kreuser said at a Monday news conference. “There are a lot of crises going on in our community.”
Kreuser said it takes “a lot, even in good times,” to host a presidential visit.
Trump’s visit will come nine days after a Kenosha police officer shot Jacob Blake seven times in the back. Investigators say Blake fought with police, shrugged off two tasers, put an officer into a headlock, had a knife, and ignored officers’ commands before the shooting.
Angry crowds took to the streets of Kenosha after Blake’s shooting. They protested, but also burned down buildings and set car lots on fire. During the rioting last Tuesday, police say 17-year-old Illinois resident Kyle Rittenhouse shot and killed two people and wounded a third.
Blake continues to recover in the hospital. Rittenhouse is waiting to be brought back to Wisconsin from Illinois to face formal charges.
Benjamin Yount reports on Illinois and Wisconsin statewide issues for The Center Square. Reposted with permission.