A crisis is brewing in the upper Midwest following the police shooting of Jacob Blake, a Black man, in Kenosha, Wisconsin. A prayer for peace in the city opened Tuesday night’s Republican National Convention, but Trump has since sought to use the violence there to advance his “law and order” message, chastising the state’s governor before eventually saying he was sending in federal law enforcement.
The events in Kenosha provide an unsettling backdrop for Trump's convention – though the unrest does seem to fit into it's pro-law enforcement theme, which continue on Wednesday with scheduled speeches from a man whose wife was murdered and the president of the National Association of Police Organizations.
But they also lay bare the consequences of Trump's actions and provide another stark reminder of how Trump has stoked racial divisions during his presidency. Two featured convention speakers on Monday, Mark and Patricia McCloskey, who were filmed brandishing guns at a group of protesters who were walking along the neighborhood’s private street, en route to the St. Louis mayor’s residence to advocate for policing reform.
How speakers -- particularly those representing the administration, including Vice President Mike Pence -- address the unrest in Wisconsin on Wednesday remains to be seen. The President's rival Joe Biden said Wednesday he'd spoken with Blake's family and said protests must be peaceful. A White House official told CNN’s Jim Acosta efforts have been made to connect Trump with the Blake’s family but the President hasn't specifically addressed Blake's shooting. The White House released a statement broadly condemning violence on Wednesday: "President Trump condemns violence in all forms and believes we must protect all Americans from chaos and lawlessness," press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said.