Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers defended his decision to deploy the Wisconsin National Guard to help police control protests over George Floyd’s death.
Evers told reporters during a conference call that he deployed the Guard to protect property in Madison, including the state Capitol building, and utilities in Milwaukee. If the troops actively intervened, they did so at the direction of local authorities, he said.
Evers said Thursday the protests are a watershed opportunity to fix systemic racism. He encouraged people to demonstrate lawfully.
“First Amendment rights are not to be trampled in this state or any other state,” Evers said. “Those who decide to do damage are damaging the First Amendment and they’re damaging the opportunity for thousands of people across Wisconsin to exercise that First Amendment right.”