Wisconsin Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes said Sunday that President Donald Trump should not travel to Kenosha, Wisconsin, this week and that his presence would not be helpful amid ongoing protests over the police shooting of Jacob Blake.
Kenosha is the latest city at the center of racial unrest after Blake, a Black man, was shot in the back seven times by a White police officer. Trump, who will visit Kenosha on Tuesday to meet with law enforcement and survey damage from protests, has blamed Democrats for violence in the city, while also promising to restore “law and order” there and in Portland, Oregon, where protesters have demonstrated against police brutality and racial injustice for more than 90 consecutive nights.
The protests were spurred by the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis in May and gained steam after last weekend’s shooting of Blake in Wisconsin.
“You look at the incendiary remarks that the President has made, they centered an entire convention around creating more animosity and creating more division around what is going on in Kenosha,” Barnes told CNN’s John King on “Inside Politics.” “So, I don’t know how given any of the previous statements that the President made that he intends to come here to be helpful. And we absolutely don’t need that right now.”
Barnes also said he is disappointed by Kenosha Police Chief Daniel Miskinis, who said on Wednesday that the shooting may not have occurred if protesters and the accused gunman had obeyed the city’s newly imposed 8 p.m. curfew.
“I can’t take a vote of confidence or a vote of lack of confidence, but if I could, probably would take that vote because it is distressing, like I said, there is no condemnation hardly for the person who actually killed two people,” Barnes told King when asked if the city needed a new police chief.
Wisconsin Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes on President Trump’s upcoming visit to Kenosha: “I don’t know how, given any of the previous statements that the President made, that he intends to come here to be helpful and we absolutely don’t need that right now.” https://t.co/M5hwow3MD5 pic.twitter.com/U8WnQjouF3
— CNN Newsroom (@CNNnewsroom) August 30, 2020