Kenosha Mayor John Antaramian is asking for $30 million in state funding to help rebuild the Wisconsin city that’s been torn apart by violence over the police shooting death of Jacob Blake.
Antaramian said Monday he asked Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers for the cash to rebuild businesses that have been on the destructive end of nighttime rioters.
“We are looking for $30 million to help us rebuild, to help us with the Uptown,” he said during a hastily called press conference, in which the city purposefully sought to avoid national and international media outlets that have set up shop near the city’s civic center to report on the violence. “This is to help with all the people that have been negatively impacted, that we end up getting them the help that they need to get back on their feet, and to enable us to do the things we need to do.”
JACOB BLAKE UNREST IN KENOSHA: LIVE UPDATES ON PROTESTS, VIOLENCE; KYLE RITTENHOUSE FACING CHARGES
Damage to city-owned property is estimated at nearly $2 million so far, Kenosha’s public works director Shelly Billingsley said.
The pricetag factors in the cost to replace garbage trucks, street lights, and traffic signals that were destroyed or damaged in the unrest.
Milwaukee’s Biz Times reported that some area businesses are claiming more than $100,000 in losses.
Antaramian said Monday he had also requested federal aid from U.S. Rep. Bryan Steil, R-Wis., and Sens. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., and Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis.
Kenosha, an area of Wisconsin that’s nestled on the shore of Lake Michigan, has been at the center of controversy following the police shooting of Blake, a Black man who lives in Kenosha, in an incident caught on cellphone video.
The violent protests have continued since Kyle Rittenhouse, a 17-year-old resident of nearby Antioch, Ill., shot and killed two Kenosha protesters and wounded another, according to a complaint filed by the Kenosha County District Attorney.
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Some Kenosha residents and local officials have expressed hesitation ahead of a Tuesday visit by President Trump, worried that a polarizing political appearance could stir up more drama.
“We must strictly and fully enforce our law and have no tolerance for anarchy and no tolerance — zero — for violence,” Trump said Monday. “Anyone who breaks the law should be arrested, prosecuted, and punished.”
He also said he would not meet with Blake’s family.
Evers, who has deployed the National Guard to help stop the violence, said Trump’s presence “will only hinder our healing.”