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Kenosha Mayor: ‘Did Not Have Enough’ Law Enforcement to Put Down Riots

'These are not folks that are from Kenosha...'

The mayor of Kenosha, Wisc., admitted on Friday that he “did not have enough” of a law enforcement presence to put down the violent riots that resulted in the deaths of two demonstrators this week.

Mayor John Antaramian told CNN that his city’s officers were not prepared to stop the swarm of protesters that flooded the city after the death of Jacob Blake.

He said he made requests to the state for assistance, but Gov. Tony Evers was slow to send in aid, and even rejected federal assistance from President Donald Trump.

“The problem in the city at the time was we had made requests to the state, and the state did bring the National Guard in,” he said.

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“However, a huge number of outside individuals came into the city, including, as you saw, the militia,” he continued. “These are not folks that are from Kenosha. They all came from other places. I shouldn’t say all, but a good percentage came from other places,” Antaramian said.

The city, on Lake Michigan, lies roughly halfway between Milwaukee and Chicago, where many of the radical activists are believed to have come from.

Because of this massive influx, law enforcement was overwhelmed even with additional help from state troopers and National Guard forces, Antaramian explained.

“We had all sorts of different groups that came into the community to help the police department,” he said.

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“That’s police officers, sheriffs from all over the state came to help out—National Guard came,” he added. “However, we just, we did not have enough people in the first two nights,” he said.

When the violence in Kenosha first broke out, Trump pushed to send in National Guard troops immediately.

But Evers refused Trump’s aid, according to White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows.

“The president was on the phone with the governor today … we have National Guard standing by, and if the general for the National Guard [in Kenosha] needs additional help, we’re there to do it, but today, that request was denied by the governor,” Meadows told Fox News.

Evers later reversed his decision and agreed to send in 500 National Guard servicemen.

But Meadows said a lot of the violence Kenosha experienced could have been prevented had Evers agreed to stand up to the rioters sooner.

He “clearly wants riots,” Meadows said of Evers. “It is out of control and it can’t be allowed to continue.”

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