Little more than 24 hours after releasing a statement decrying the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Gov. Tony Evers has declared a State of Emergency in Wisconsin. The move comes after two nights of fiery protests in Kenosha.

“Many Wisconsinites have taken a stand, expressing the justified and shared frustration and anger about systematic injustices by peacefully protesting throughout the state,” Evers says in his executive order. “Unfortunately, some individuals have deviated from peaceful protests and engaged in unlawful, harmful, and dangerous activities, including arson, which has endangered the lives of other protestors and bystanders, which cannot be tolerated.”

What does the State of Emergency entail? Per the order, it directs “all state agencies of the State of Wisconsin to continue to assist as appropriate in responding to this emergency situation,” and calls to state active duty “such additional elements of the Wisconsin National Guard as the Adjutant General deems necessary to support local law enforcement, protect critical infrastructure and cultural institutions, and provide support to first responders.”

The order notes that “the Wisconsin National Guard may not be used to impede the ability of people to peacefully protest or impede the ability of the media to report on demonstrations.”

Here’s the full executive order:

EXECUTIVE ORDER #86

Relating to Declaring a State of Emergency to Provide Safety and Protection to the People of Kenosha and Other Wisconsin Communities

WHEREAS, following the murder of George Floyd on May 25, 2020, people across Wisconsin and the United States have marched to demand action, accountability, transparency, equity, and justice for Black lives;

WHEREAS, on August 23, 2020, Jacob Blake, a Black man, was shot multiple times in the back by law enforcement in Kenosha, Wisconsin;

WHEREAS, “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere,” and we must be willing to do the hard work together to stand up to these injustices;

WHEREAS, on August 24, 2020, I issued Executive Order #84, calling a Special Session of the Wisconsin Legislature to take long-overdue legislative action to ensure that our state and country live up to our promise of equity and justice;

WHEREAS, many Wisconsinites have taken a stand, expressing the justified and shared frustration and anger about systematic injustices by peacefully protesting throughout the state;

WHEREAS, unfortunately, some individuals have deviated from peaceful protests and engaged in unlawful, harmful, and dangerous activities, including arson, which has endangered the lives of other protestors and bystanders, which cannot be tolerated;

WHEREAS, on August 24, 2020, I called to state active duty elements of the Wisconsin National Guard to support the needs of local first responders to protect critical infrastructure, such as utilities and fire stations, and ensure that Wisconsinites are able to assemble safely, and such support continues to be needed; and

WHEREAS, the State of Wisconsin will continue to support the right of people to peacefully protest and provide assistance to local governments to ensure the safety of the community,

NOW THEREFORE, I, TONY EVERS, Governor of the State of Wisconsin, by the authority vested in me by the Constitution and Laws of this State, specifically Sections 321.39(1)(a), 323.10, and 323.12 of the Wisconsin Statutes, do hereby:

1. Proclaim that a State of Emergency exists in the State of Wisconsin.

2. Direct all state agencies of the State of Wisconsin to continue to assist as appropriate in responding to this emergency situation.

3. Call to state active duty such additional elements of the Wisconsin National Guard as the Adjutant General deems necessary to support local law enforcement, protect critical infrastructure and cultural institutions, and provide support to first responders. The Wisconsin National Guard may not be used to impede the ability of people to peacefully protest or impede the ability of the media to report on demonstrations.

And here’s the press release:

Gov. Evers Declares State of Emergency in Wisconsin

MADISON — Gov. Tony Evers today signed Executive Order #86 declaring a state of emergency following protests in communities across Wisconsin. Executive Order #86 proclaims a state of emergency in Wisconsin, directs state agencies to continue assisting the state response, and calls to state active duty additional elements of the Wisconsin National Guard to support first responders and protect critical infrastructure and cultural institutions. The state of emergency declaration comes as earlier today Gov. Evers released a statement regarding protests in Wisconsin last night.

On Monday, at the request of local officials, the governor announced he authorized the Wisconsin National Guard to help protect critical infrastructure and assist in maintaining public safety and the ability of individuals to peacefully protest in Kenosha County. Following protests on Monday night, Gov. Evers today announced he is authorizing increased Wisconsin National Guard support for Kenosha County to 250 members and will continue to adjust to meet local needs.

The National Guard may not be used to impede the ability of people to peacefully protest or impede the ability of the media to report on this situation. Pursuant to Section 321.39(1)(a) of the Wisconsin Statutes, the governor ordered into state active duty members of the Wisconsin National Guard deemed necessary to support to local law enforcement and first responders in Kenosha. Any Guard members called to active duty may only be used to provide support to local law enforcement and to protect critical infrastructure and cultural institutions necessary for the well-being of the community, and to provide support to first responders such as the Kenosha Fire Department.

About The Author

Matt Wild
Co-Founder and Editor

Matt Wild weighs between 140 and 145 pounds. He lives on Milwaukee's east side.

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