Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers has activated hundreds of National Guard troops as the city of Kenosha prepares for a possible verdict next week in the murder trial of Kyle Rittenhouse. About 500 troops are expected to report for active duty and defend Kenosha as it prepares for potential unrest after the verdict, NBC Chicago reports.
“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,” Maj. Gen. Paul Knapp, Wisconsin’s adjutant general, said in a news release.
The governor advised people from outside Kenosha to avoid visiting the city next week. He also encouraged protesters to exercise their First Amendment rights “safely and peacefully.”
As Blavity previously reported, Rittenhouse sobbed while taking the stand on Wednesday to defend himself after shooting three people during Jacob Blake protests in Kenosha last year.
The 18-year-old said he was compelled to defend himself against Anthony Huber, 26, Joseph Rosenbaum, 36, and Gaige Grosskreutz, 27. Both Huber and Rosenbaum died and Grosskreutz sustained injuries from the shooting.
Rittenhouse said Rosenbaum shouted the f-word at him several times.
“He screamed, ‘If I catch any of you f**kers alone, I’m going to f**king kill you. I’m going to cut your f**king heart out,” he said.
The teenager also said he was prompted to fire his gun after Huber struck him with a skateboard in an attempt to disarm him.