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FIRST ON FOX: A pair of Wisconsin Republicans will be touring the streets of Kenosha two years after anti-police riots ravaged the city.
Rep. Bryan Steil, R-Wis., and Republican gubernatorial candidate Tim Michels will be touring the scarred streets of Kenosha on Tuesday, recognizing the two-year anniversary of the deadly riots.
Steil told Fox News Digital that he and Michels plan to meet with the Kenosha Police Union before touring the impacted parts of Kenosha.
KENOSHA MEETING DISCUSSING MEMORIAL FOR A MAN SHOT BY RITTENHOUSE GETS HEATED: ‘LIKE A LUNATIC’
The pair will also speak with “a business owner whose shop was burned to the ground by rioters over the course of three nights of riots in Kenosha” before holding a roundtable with members of the local law enforcement community.
“And I think what we’re going to see is, with a two-year look back, we’re going to see the same story that we saw during and after the riots in Kenosha, that Kenosha needed additional resources,” Steil said. “Governor Evers failed to provide those additional resources.”
“And as a result, not only was a property damage, not only were people seriously injured in the rioting, but people ultimately lost their lives and none of that had to occur,” he continued. “If Governor Evers, as well as Mandela Barnes, for that matter, didn’t release inflammatory statements before they had all the facts.”
Evers claimed law enforcement officials have “mercilessly killed” Black Americans following the shooting of Jacob Blake.
Barnes, meanwhile, blamed the officers for their actions and claimed Blake, who was armed with a knife, was “trying to deescalate a fight in his community” when he was shot.
The Republican congressman said that much of the violence in Kenosha could have been “prevented” if Evers “had provided the resources that Kenosha needed” and criticized the Democrat governor for turning away federal help from former President Trump.
“And this failure of leadership by our governor directly impacted the thousands of people who call Kenosha home,” Steil said. “It was really indicative of what we’re seeing of the far progressive left, that they would rather follow their political base rather than do what’s needed to protect people in their respective community.”
“And my view on this is everybody has a right to feel safe in our community. Absolutely everybody,” the congressman continued. “And our governor’s failure to provide that assistance is in many ways led to the destruction, the damage, the injuries and ultimately the loss of life.”
Steil said the community of Kenosha is “strong,” but “that doesn’t mean that the scars of those three nights aren’t still felt.”
“There are still buildings that have not been replaced that were burned to the ground,” Steil said. “Some buildings still have boards on them that were put up during those three nights. But overall, the city of Kenosha has come back and is coming back stronger than ever.”
Steil’s campaign shared pictures of still-boarded businesses and echoes of graffiti targeting police tagged on buildings.
Blake was brandishing a knife as he approached Kenosha officers who were responding to a 911 call from the mother of his children and attempted to arrest him. The incident left him partially paralyzed and sparked a wave of violent protests in 2020. Violent protests in Kenosha caused at least $50 million in damages and forced thousands of National Guard members to be called in to quell the ensuing chaos.
Some liberal media outlets have pushed the false narrative that Blake was unarmed when he was shot.
Michels, who is running against Democrat incumbent Governor Tony Evers for his mansion, touched on his Tuesday tour with Steil and blasted the Cheese State governor over his handling of the riots.
The businessman and GOP nominee said most people would “categorize” Evers’ and Barnes’ comments in the wake of the shooting as “failed leadership” and that a new governor is needed because the incumbent Democrat “will clearly fail Wisconsin again if a similar situation should arise.”
“Kenosha proved that Tony Evers was a weak leader,” Michels said. “He was idle for days and did not show up in Kenosha until three or four days of rioting and looting and burning took place.”
“People don’t want that in their leader. People want a leader who’s going to uphold the rule of law,” the GOP nominee added. “And Tony Evers failed to do that.”
Michels also said that, as governor, he would ensure a swift response to any future riots “where Antifa-type people who have the intent of burning and looting and destroying businesses and communities” appear.
“I will be there as quickly as possible. Hopefully within the first hour I will work with law enforcement, the fire department, with business leaders, and, if necessary, with the National Guard,” Michels said. “To make sure that it is quickly shut down.”
“And under my governorship, communities and businesses will never burn in Wisconsin again,” Michels added.
Kenosha’s small business community is still feeling the pain of the riots two years later.
Scott Carpenter — whose family-owned furniture store in Kenosha was burned down by rioters — told Fox News Digital his business is “still working on recovering completely” following the fire.
Carpenter also said his store moved to a rental location following the fire but his inventory was either consumed by the fire or destroyed by smoke or water.
The Kenosha store owner said he was shocked by the governor’s and lieutenant governor’s comments and that he believed Evers’ and Barnes’ rhetoric following the shooting “turned the light green” for the rioters.
“They just went nuts,” Carpenter said.
Carpenter also recounted seeing a flyer after the first day of rioting instructing store owners to close up shop by 3 PM.
“You know, we were in distress. You know, we were a city under siege,” Carpenter said as the National Guard arrived after the third day of rioting. “You know, you had people running around with their license plates off their cars and running through stoplights.”
“And I mean, they were just it was lawlessness,” he continued. “It was just insane. It was a week of terror.”
Kenosha Police Union president Pete Deates told Fox News Digital in a phone call that Kenosha is “very resilient” and the people “have together probably stronger than before,” but “there’s always that little bit of uncertainty if it’ll happen again.”
Deates said the Kenosha police force “lost a lot of officers” because of the riots and that hiring has become tough, but noted the officers who remained “have become a more cohesive, stronger, stronger group.”
He also had strong words for Evers and Barnes, calling their rhetoric “unbelievable” and saying it’s as if the governor and lieutenant governor are trying to “start problems.”
“It’s like they’re just trying to stir things up, just trying to start problems, you know, which in turn makes it more dangerous for everybody that’s involved,” Deates said. “You know, the citizens, the business owners, anybody that’s in the city, including and especially us.”
The tour and roundtable are set for Tuesday, August 23 — the two-year mark of the deadly riots.
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2022 is expected to be a tough year for Democrats as Republicans eye blue seats across the country and the national political attitude leans toward the GOP.
Evers is one of the most vulnerable Democratic governors up for election in 2024, sitting as one of the three toss-up blue governorships.
Fox News Digital’s Alexander Hall contributed reporting.
The post The ‘scars’ of Kenosha: Wisconsin Republicans to tour city streets 2 years after riots raged appeared first on 247 News Around The World.