The president is expected to visit Kenosha, Wisconsin, on Tuesday, and Evers wants Trump to reconsider. The visit comes after a Black man, Jacob Blake, 29, was shot in the back by a white police officer, which has since stirred unrest.
In a letter to Trump on Sunday, Evers wrote, “I write today to respectfully ask you to reconsider” Tuesday’s visit.
“I am concerned your presence will only hinder our healing,” Evers bluntly wrote, adding that the president’s “presence will only delay our work to overcome division and move forward together.”
The governor continued to express concern that a visit by the president will “require a massive re-direction” of resources “at a time when it is critical that we continue to remain focused on keeping the people of Kenosha safe and supporting the community’s response.”
Evers also noted that he has called on the state’s legislature to come together on Monday to “take up a policing accountability and transparency reform package.”
However, Trump still plans to visit Kenosha, as White House deputy press secretary Judd Deere wrote in a statement Sunday evening, “The White House has been humbled by the outreach of individuals from Kenosha who have welcomed the President’s visit and are longing for leadership to support local law enforcement and businesses that have been vandalized.”
Deere added, “President Trump looks forward to visiting on Tuesday and helping this great city heal and rebuild.”
See the letter below:
In a letter Sunday, Gov. Tony Evers has asked President Donald Trump "respectfully…to reconsider" an upcoming visit to Kenosha, WI, writing, "I, along with other community leaders who have reached out, are concerned about what your presence will mean for Kenosha and our state.” pic.twitter.com/Lhe1uWh2a3— DJ Judd (@DJJudd) August 31, 2020
Trump has also received push back ahead of his planned visit from Kenosha, Wisconsin, Mayor John Antaramian (D), as IJR reported.
He told NPR’s “Weekend Edition,” “Realistically, from our perspective, our preference would have been for him not to be coming at this point in time.”
Antaramian added, “All presidents are always welcome, and campaign issues are always going on. But it would have been, I think, better had he waited to have for another time to come.”
After he was shot seven times on August 23, Blake is paralyzed from the waist down, as his father told the Chicago Sun-Times last week.