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Trump visits Kenosha to survey damage, participate in 'safety roundtable'

President will not visit Jacob Blake or his family
Donald Trump
Posted at 7:50 AM, Sep 01, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-01 14:45:08-04

President Donald Trump visited Kenosha, Wisconsin on Tuesday which was the site of both peaceful protests and riots last week following the police shooting of Jacob Blake.

The protests have mostly been peaceful in the city in the last few days. However, some politicians fear that Trump's visit could stoke embers of emotion and spark more violence in the nights to come.

Trump's visit took place against the wishes of both Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers and Kenosha Mayor Kenosha Mayor John Antaramian — both Democrats — who say that emotions in the city are still too raw.

"We want everything to calm down," Antaramian said in a press conference on Monday. "We want to give people an opportunity to talk before the president comes into town."

There did not appear to be any violence or unrest upon Trump's arrival. Dozens of his supporters lined streets in Kenosha to see his motorcade, and Blake's family held a community gathering near the site of the shooting.

During his visit, Trump praised law enforcement at a security roundtable for keeping peace in the city in recent days, and urged lawmakers in other states to lean on federal support in times of unrest. He also visited with business owners whose properties were damaged or destroyed in riots.

Trump said Tuesday that he did not plan to meet with Blake or his family during his visit, saying it would be best if relations with the family were handled "locally." He did say he planned to have a conversation with the family's pastor.

The President said Monday that he spoke with the family's pastor in the hopes of setting up a call with Blake and his family, but said the pastor requested a lawyer be on the line during the call, which he thought was "inappropriate."