Az deploying Nat’l Guard MPs to Wisconsin as Jacob Blake protests continue

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About 150 military police from Arizona’s National Guard are being sent to Wisconsin, after violent clashes in the wake of the shooting of a Black man in Kenosha have killed two others.

Jacob Blake was shot seven times by a Kenosha police officer on Sunday, sparking protest marches in that city and others. Three protesters were shot, with two killed, Tuesday night in that city by an Illinois teenager who was later arrested and will be charged with murder.

Members of the 850th Military Police Battalion of the state’s Army National Guard are being activated and sent to Wisconsin, Gov. Doug Ducey said Thursday.

Ducey did not indicate which specific units would be sent; the 850th includes the 860th Military Police Company based in Tucson, as well as companies from Phoenix and Camp Navajo near Flagstaff.

“In the United States, we hold sacred the First Amendment
rights of citizens to protest and assemble peacefully, as well as the
safety and security of all of our citizens,” Ducey said in a press release. “Over
the summer, the Arizona National Guard provided effective support to
state and local law enforcement keeping the peace in Arizona
communities. We support public safety, everywhere — and we stand ready
to support Wisconsin now in their time of need.”

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers declared a state of emergency on Tuesday, as protest marches in southeastern Wisconsin were marred by some scuffles and arsons, with the unrest accelerating through the week.

Alabama and Michigan are also sending troops to assist the 500 Wisconsin Guard soldiers who have been deployed in cities in that state.

The troops have not been federalized, but are being deployed under an interstate mutual aid pact, Evers said.

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The troops are “serving in a support role to assist civil authorities in preserving
public safety and individuals’ ability to exercise their First Amendment
rights to assemble peaceably,” the Wisconsin governor said.

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