MADISON — Gov. Tony Evers signed Executive Order #86 declaring a state of emergency following protests in communities across Wisconsin on August 25, 2020. Executive Order #86 proclaims a state of emergency in Wisconsin, directs state agencies to continue assisting the state response, and calls to state active duty additional elements of the Wisconsin National Guard to support first responders and protect critical infrastructure and cultural institutions. The state of emergency declaration comes as earlier on August 25 Gov. Evers released a statement regarding protests in Wisconsin last night.
On Monday, August 21 at the request of local officials, the governor announced he authorized the Wisconsin National Guard to help protect critical infrastructure and assist in maintaining public safety and the ability of individuals to peacefully protest in Kenosha County. Following protests on Monday night, Gov. Evers today announced he is authorizing increased Wisconsin National Guard support for Kenosha County to 250 members and will continue to adjust to meet local needs.
The National Guard may not be used to impede the ability of people to peacefully protest or impede the ability of the media to report on this situation. Pursuant to Section 321.39(1)(a) of the Wisconsin Statutes, the governor ordered into state active duty members of the Wisconsin National Guard deemed necessary to support to local law enforcement and first responders in Kenosha. Any Guard members called to active duty may only be used to provide support to local law enforcement and to protect critical infrastructure and cultural institutions necessary for the well-being of the community, and to provide support to first responders such as the Kenosha Fire Department.