In the disaster area that was once peaceful downtown Kenosha, Wisconsin, President Donald Trump vowed to rebuild the city and lashed out at anti-police rhetoric that lit the fuse for the explosive destruction that ripped through the city last week.
“Kenosha has been ravaged by anti-police and anti-American riots,” Trump said on Tuesday, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
The president added that a combination of riots and liberal incitement had left buildings vandalized and businesses in ruins.
“I think a lot of people are looking at what’s happening to these Democrat-run cities, and they’re disgusting. They see what’s going on, and they can’t believe this is taking place in our country. I can’t believe it either,” Trump said before leaving Washington, D.C., according to a White House media pool report.
“We have to condemn the dangerous anti-police rhetoric. It’s getting more and more,” Trump said after arriving in the city, according to a second report.
At Rode’s Camera Shop, which was torched by rioters, Trump was welcomed by former owner John Rode after owner Tom Gram refused to be a part of the president’s tour. Rode still owns the building the shop is in, according to WTMJ-TV.
“I just appreciate President Trump coming today; everybody here does. We’re so thankful that we got the federal troops in to help because once they got here, things did calm down quite a bit. And our city police and sheriff and fire departments are awesome. They worked harder than you can believe, 24/7,” Rode said.
“We’re going to work with you. We’re going to help you, OK? We’ll help you rebuild. It’s a great area. It’s a great state. This should never happen. A thing like this should never happen,” Trump replied.
Trump’s condemnation of the rioting was shared by Kenosha Police Chief Daniel Miskinis.
“What transpired here is an attack on America, and it can’t happen in any community,” Miskinis said, according to a White House media pool report.
“The way to stop this is to act decisively while still protecting rights but putting an end to it. And we appreciate the assistance.”
BREAKING: Trump says federal government to provide:
– $1M to Kenosha police
– $4M to support small businesses affected by riots
– $42M to support public safety in Wisconsin pic.twitter.com/qMFVdQJxse
— Breaking911 (@Breaking911) September 1, 2020
Trump said the Justice Department would give $1 million to Kenosha police “so that you can have some extra money to go out and do what you do,” USA Today reported.
The federal government is also committing $4 million to help small businesses and more than $42 million to assist public safety efforts in Wisconsin.
The family of Jacob Blake, the 29-year-old black man whose shooting at the hands of a white police officer sparked the rioting and reportedly left him paralyzed, deplored Trump’s support for police, which the president emphasized over and over during the trip.
“That’s the language that got us here,” Justin Blake, Jacob Blake’s uncle, told the Journal Sentinel. “That’s the language that fed police officers all around this country [the belief] that they could attack young, unarmed Black men and shoot them in the back seven times. And that’s why I’m not directing anything toward that gentleman today, and I use that term loosely.”
CORRECTION, Sept. 2, 2020: Multiple outlets previously named John Rode as the owner of Rode’s Camera Shop. Tom Gram has come forward to say he is the current owner of the shop and Rode is the former owner, but Rode still owns the building the shop is in. This article has been updated with this new information.
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