On Tuesday, President Donald Trump announced that he would try to provide millions of dollars in funding to the city of Kenosha, Wisconsin, following the police shooting of Jacob Blake. Some people have criticized and condemned his rhetoric about the events in Kenosha and his defense of 17-year-old murderer Kyle Rittenhouse. He is now hoping to provide $42 million for police expansion throughout Wisconsin, and in Kenosha in particular.
"I'm committed to helping Kenosha rebuild. We will provide $1 million to the Kenosha law enforcement so that you have some extra money to go out and do what you have to do," Trump said on Tuesday, according to a report by CNN. "I'm also providing nearly $4 million to support the small businesses that I talked about today that got burned up, burned down. And we're going to be providing over $42 million to support public safety statewide, including direct support for law enforcement and funding for additional prosecutors to punish criminals, and resources to provide services to victims of crime."
Trump said that Attorney General Bill Barr is pushing for this funding on his behalf. This action comes as protest and civil unrest continue in Kenosha, with many protesters calling for police reform or police abolition.
Trump's commentary on the situation in Kenosha has been criticized by politicians and pundits all along the political spectrum, with many saying that his actions are only worsening the situation. On Monday, he even declined to condemn the actions of Rittenhouse, a 17-year-old who traveled across state lines to be in Kenosha, illegally carrying an AR-15 assault rifle with him. He shot two protesters and injured another, and has been charged with first-degree criminal homicide along with five other charges.
On Monday, the president suggested without evidence that Rittenhouse was acting in self-defense, and did not comment on the illegality of his weapon. He did acknowledge that the investigation into Rittenhouse's shooting is ongoing.
The unrest in Kenosha stems from the police shooting 29-year-old Jacob Blake on Sunday, Aug. 23. Blake was unarmed and was walking away from an encounter with police when officer Rusten Sheskey shot him seven times in the back at point-blank range. Blake was trying to get into a car with at least one of his children in it at the time.
Black was left paralyzed from the waist down by the shooting, and Black Lives Matter protests sprung up at once all over the city. In his commentary on the shooting, Trump has suggested that Blake posed a threat to Sheskey despite video evidence on social media.