Former Vice President Joe Biden said he has spoken with the family of Jacob Blake, a black man who was shot by police in Kenosha, Wisconsin in a confrontation caught on video that has since sparked major protests, adding: “I told them justice must and will be done.”
A man walks away from the scene of a shooting in Kenosha, Wisconsin
A 17-year-old Illinois resident was arrested and charged with shooting and killing two people and injuring one other in Kenosha, Wisconsin amid protests sparked by Mr Blake’s shooting, with video footage showing a white gunman carrying a semi-automatic rifle and opening fire in the middle of the street.
The protests turned violent on Tuesday evening as people gathered in honour of Mr Blake, who was shot by police seven times on Sunday. Kenosha County Sheriff David Beth later condemned armed “vigilantes” attempting to deputise for police officers in response to the protests, as local officials called for “additional guns” to be taken off the streets.
It was later reported that the shooting suspect was spotted attending a rally held in January by Donald Trump, who meanwhile announced on Wednesday that he would be sending the National Guard to Wisconsin after Governor Tony Evers requested federal assistance.
The White House confirmed on Wednesday it had helped Wisconsin in the deployment of almost 1,000 National Guard troops following the protests.
“President Trump condemns violence in all forms and believes we must protect all Americans from chaos and lawlessness,” White House spokeswoman Kayleigh McEnany said in a statement after the Justice Department said separately that it had deployed more than 200 law-enforcement agents to the city.
Mr Trump has been pushing Democratic governors to request National Guard and federal law enforcement support to deal with unrest that has followed the killing of a black man in Minneapolis police custody in May.
In the Wisconsin case, the state’s attorney general said investigators recovered a knife from the driver’s side floorboard of Mr Blake’s car.
“We have assisted Wisconsin in the deployment of almost 1,000 National Guard and over 200 federal law enforcement personnel, which include FBI and U.S. Marshals,” Ms McEnany said.
Justice Department spokeswoman Kerri Kupec earlier wrote on Twitter that the law enforcement agents deployed to Wisconsin included agents and marshals from the FBI, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and the U.S. Marshals Service.
The deployment, she said, aimed to “assist state and local law enforcement in the response to rioting and unrest and will continue to surge Kenosha with federal resources as needed and necessary.”
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Julia Jackson, the mother of Jacob Blake, has apologised to Donald Trump for missing a call from the president.
It was not clear from her comments whether the president called back and the pair had a conversation, nor what it might have contained.
Ms Jackson also apologised for what she said was an unkind comment by a family member, apparently about Mr Trump.
She told CNN’s Don Lemon: “For our President Trump, first I want to say a family member, and I don’t know if it was heard or not, said something that was not kind.
“She is hurting, and I do apologise for that outburst that does not reflect our behaviour.
“And then also for President Trump, I’m sorry I missed your call. Because had I not missed your call maybe the comments that you made would have been different.
“I’m not mad at you at all. I have utmost respect for you as the leader of our country.
“Like I said before, and I’m saying it to him directly, we should always get the details from the right source before we start throwing bricks, or tweets.”
Her comment may have referred to Mr Trump’s demand that Wisconsin’s governor use National Guard soldiers to suppress rioting.
Ms Jackson went on to say that politicians of all stripes should “set a better example” for the rest of the country.