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Trump visits riot-torn Kenosha, vows to help businesses rebuild

September 02, 2020
US President Donald Trump toured damaged businesses and met with law enforcement in Kenosha, Wisconsin, on Tuesday after the police shooting of a black man sparked civil strife. — Courtesy photo
US President Donald Trump toured damaged businesses and met with law enforcement in Kenosha, Wisconsin, on Tuesday after the police shooting of a black man sparked civil strife. — Courtesy photo

WASHINGTON — US President Donald Trump toured damaged businesses and met with law enforcement in Kenosha, Wisconsin, on Tuesday after the police shooting of a black man sparked civil strife.

Trump once again claimed that the city would have been "burned to the ground by now" had he not intervened.

The president stopped at a torched store under heavy security, with armored personnel carriers and police in camouflage and carrying automatic rifles blocking the street.

Trump said “we’re going to help” the owners of the store and, pointing to officers nearby, “these gentlemen did a fantastic job.”

“We’ll help you rebuild,” Trump said, adding: “This is a great area, a great state.”

"Violent mobs demolished or damaged at least 25 businesses, burned down public buildings and threw bricks at police officers — which your police officers won't stand for. And they didn't stand for it," he said at a round table meeting on "community safety".

"These are not acts of peaceful protest but really domestic terror."

Trump defended the actions of US police and accused the media of focusing only on "bad" incidents involving officers.

"They do 10,000 great acts, which is what they do, and one bad apple — or a choker -- you know, a choker. They choke. Shooting the guy in the back many times. I mean, couldn’t you have done something different? Couldn’t you have wrestled him? You know, I mean, in the meantime, he might have been going for a weapon, and, you know, there’s a whole big thing there, but they choke," Trump said.

He also said his administration would provide nearly $4m (£3m) to help Kenosha businesses that had been damaged in the riots and $1m for city law enforcement.

Wisconsin is a state potentially key to Trump’s re-election.

Attorney General Bill Barr and acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf accompanied Trump on his trip to Kenosha. The president was greeted by a mix of supporters and protesters lining the route from the airport to the business and then onto a local high school hosting an emergency operations center.

Kenosha was rocked by days of violence after Jacob Blake was shot in the back by officers.

Opinion polls show Trump is cutting into his Democratic rival Joe Biden's lead ahead of November's election.

The president is pushing a strong "law and order" message ahead of the vote. Biden has accused Trump of stoking racial division. — Agencies


September 02, 2020
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