MADISON — Mainstream media accounts on Thursday described a fourth night of riots in Kenosha as “mostly peaceful” after three previous nights of deadly disorder that ripped up portions of Wisconsin’s fourth-largest city and led to three people shot and two dead.
Things could have been a lot worse in Kenosha Wednesday night if local and federal law enforcement officials hadn’t stopped an out-of-state convoy reportedly bent on destruction. As Empower Wisconsin reported, Kenosha police and U.S. Marshal agents stopped a caravan of vehicles filled with fuel cans and illegal fireworks — thanks to a citizen tip.
Officers located a black school bus, bread truck, and minivan and took up surveillance, according to the incident report. Police then followed the vehicles to a gas station where they observed the occupants of the black bus and bread truck fill multiple cans of gas.
Police say the vehicles contained various items, including helmets, gas masks, protective vests, illegal fireworks, and suspected controlled substances. Nine individuals were arrested for disorderly conduct and are awaiting charging decisions by the Kenosha County district attorney, according to the incident report.
“They clearly prevented more tragedy in the Kenosha area. We’re grateful for their presence,” state Rep. Janel Brandtjen (R-Menomonee Falls) said of the federal agents working with local law enforcement.
The vehicles reportedly were connected to Seattle-based Riot Kitchen, a group of radical left protesters that claims to “feed the revolution.” They were portrayed in several mainstream media accounts as friendly helpers. What the stories couldn’t explain is why members of the organization were loading up so many cans of gas, and why the Riot Kitchen crew in the minivan fled from police.
After Democrat Gov. Tony Evers initially turned down an offer from the Trump administration and Kenosha County begged him to send in more law enforcement, on Wednesday Evers announced he would call up 500 Wisconsin Army National Guard members to stem riots burning down the city. The governor still seemed to bypass federal involvement in his spite for President Donald Trump.
Evers defended his handling of the riots during a press conference Thursday in Kenosha. The governor claimed he fulfilled every request local officials made to the state, according to Wispolitics.com.
“The people on the ground here in Kenosha asked us for x. We provided x. The next day they asked for y, and we provided y,” Evers said, as Wispolitics.com reported. He also said he made it to Kenosha as quickly as he could — four days after the police shooting of 29-year-old Jacob Blake after Blake scuffled with police while possessing a knife.
Evers was holed up in Madison, and certainly had time to send out incendiary tweets pandering to his political base and calling a legislative session on police policy reform, all while Kenosha burned. State Sen. Dave Craig (R-Town of Vernon) said Evers not only failed to protect the people of Kenosha, but his bumbling response put police and National Guard members in peril.
“His lack of foresight to make sure those parties were protected is total negligence on the part of the administration that has to be further investigated,” he said. “No community should have to wait for federal intervention when the state government has the ability to protect its citizens, with an immediate response.”
This updated article is republished from Empower Wisconsin, with permission.