Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers and Kenosha Mayor John Antaramian have both asked President Donald Trump not to visit the city, which has been the site of civil unrest and protests since the shooting of Jacob Blake by police officers on Aug. 23. Trump still has plans to go through with the trip on Tuesday, with White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany referring to it as a "unifying" visit. Trump plans to visit damaged businesses, but there are no plans for Trump to visit with Blake's family.
On Sunday, Antaramian told NPR city officials would prefer Trump not to visit "at this point in time." Presidents are "welcome" to the city, "but it would have been, I think, better had he waited to have for another time to come," he said. He reiterated that Trump should not come at this time during a Monday press conference. "The timing on this, we felt was not good," Antaramian said Monday. "So we did make the request for him to do it at a different time."
Evers, a Democrat, also wrote a letter to Trump on Sunday, asking him to reconsider. Last week was "particularly difficult," Evers wrote. "Kenosha and communities across Wisconsin are enduring extraordinary grief, grappling with a Black man being shot seven times and the loss of two additional lives on Tuesday night at the hands of an out-of-state armed militant." The governor wrote to Trump that he is "concerned your presence will only hinder our healing. I am concerned your presence will only delay our work to overcome division and move forward together."
Despite the wishes of the local officials, Trump still plans to visit Kenosha. "He loves the people of Wisconsin and he looks forward to speaking directly to them and unifying the state," McEnany told Fox and Friends before mocking Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden for delivering a speech in Pittsburgh on Monday instead of going to Wisconsin. Trump "shows up" and is "demonstrating his respect for the American people by actually going to places where Americans are hurting." Trump also tweeted Monday that he "will see you on Tuesday."
During her Monday press briefing, CNN asked McEnany if Trump planned to meet Blake's family. "Currently the plans are to meet with local law enforcement and some business owners, and he'll survey the damage. But there will be more detailed plans forthcoming when they're announced," McEnany said, adding there are "not currently" any plans to meet Blake's family.
Blake was shot in the back seven times on Aug. 23 as he was getting into his SUV with his three sons in the backseat. Blake is in the hospital, and police said he is paralyzed from the waist down. The shooting inspired more protests on racial injustice and police brutality, which have been ongoing since the May shooting of George Floyd in Minneapolis. On Tuesday, two protesters were shot and killed. Kyle Rittenhouse, a 17-year-old from Illinois, has been charged in their deaths.