500 Wisconsin National Guard troops activated ahead of Kyle Rittenhouse verdict

On Friday, Democratic Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers activated roughly 500 members of the state’s Army National Guard troops as closing arguments in the Kyle Rittenhouse trial are scheduled for Monday. Deliberations are expected to begin the same day.

“We continue to be in close contact with our partners at the local level to ensure the state provides support and resources to help keep the Kenosha community and greater area safe,” Evers said in a news release. “The Kenosha community has been strong, resilient, and has come together through incredibly difficult times these past two years, and that healing is ongoing.”

The Wisconsin National Guard members will stage outside Kenosha, ready to respond if their presence is requested by local law enforcement agencies. “We stand ready to support our communities during times of need,” Maj. Gen. Paul Knapp, Wisconsin’s adjutant general, said in a news release.

He added, “In close coordination with the governor, we have assembled approximately 500 soldiers to help keep the Kenosha community safe, should a request from our local partners come in.” The Kenosha County Sherriff’s Department released another statement acknowledging that the agency is working with all available resources but “has not yet officially requested the National Guard at this time.”

Rittenhouse, now 18-years-old, is on trial for two counts of first-degree reckless homicide and attempted first-degree intentional homicide.

Rittenhouse, who was 17-years-old at the time of the shootings, is accused of killing Joseph Rosenbaum and Anthony Huber and also wounding Gaige Grosskreutz. The incident took place during the August 2020 protests over the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha. Jury instructions and closing arguments are scheduled to take place on Monday, and deliberations will likely begin the same day.

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