Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers (D) has mobilized the Wisconsin National Guard ahead of a decision by the Kenosha County District Attorney on whether to charge officers involved in the shooting of Jacob Blake last year.
About 500 troops have been mobilized ahead of the decision, which is will likely be announced within the first two weeks of January. Evers said in a statement on Monday that local authorities requested assistance from the Wisconsin National Guard.
“We are continuing to work with our local partners in the Kenosha area to ensure they have the state support they need, just as we have in the past,” Evers said.
“Our members of the National Guard will be on hand to support local first responders, ensure Kenoshans are able to assemble safely, and to protect critical infrastructure as necessary,” he continued.
The move comes as officials in Kenosha, Wis., are preparing for protests ahead of the charging decision. Among the measures being considered are curfews, road closures and limits on where protesters can assemble.
Blake was shot multiple times in the back in August by officers as he attempted to enter his vehicle. The shooting left him paralyzed from the waist down.
The Wisconsin Department of Justice launched a probe into the shooting at the time, and several officers have since been placed on administrative leave.
The incident sparked protests in Kenosha against police brutality and occurred several months after the police killings of George Floyd in Minnesota and Breonna Taylor in Louisville, Ky.
One Kenosha protest made headlines last year when 17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse shot three demonstrators, according to reports. One was injured from the gunfire and the two others died.
Rittenhouse faces charges of first-degree intentional homicide and underage firearm possession.
Evers previously activated the National Guard to assist with protests after the Milwaukee County District Attorney declined to charge Wauwatosa police officer Jospeh Mensah in the fatal shooting of 17-year-old Alvin Cole in February.