Joe Biden to visit Kenosha Thursday, meet with Blake family

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Updated: 6:03 p.m. on Sept. 2, 2020

KENOSHA, Wis. (CBS 58) -- Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden will visit Kenosha on Thursday, Sept. 3, just two days after President Donald Trump did the same.

While in Kenosha, Biden will meet with members of the family of Jacob Blake, sources familiar with the plans confirmed to CBS 58. The campaign announced Wednesday the former vice president will hold a community meeting to, “bring together Americans to heal and address challenges.”

“What we want to do is we got to heal. Put things together, bring people together,” told reporters at a news conference in Wilmington, Delaware. “And so my purpose in going will be to do just that. To be a positive influence on what’s going on, talk about what need be done.”

President Trump met with law enforcement and other local officials during his visit on Tuesday, Sept. 1. Democrats criticized the visit, calling it a campaign stop. Governor Tony Evers sent a letter to the president asking Trump to reconsider his visit saying the president’s visit could slow the community’s healing process. CBS 58 reached out to the governor’s office to ask if the same had been done for Joe Biden but did not immediately hear back.

Republicans lobbed similar accusations at the Biden campaign, claiming the former VP was attempting to score political points.

“There’s a simple contrast, one is leadership and one is political posturing,” Chris Walker, a Trump Victor spokesperson told CBS 58. “The president came, met with law enforcement, providing funds for the community, trying to help a community.”

What is certain is that with about 60 days until Election Day, the shooting of Jacob Blake and the unrest that has followed since have become a focal point in the presidential campaign. That is amplified with Wisconsin being a key battleground state.

“I don’t recall ever Wisconsin being so tightly covered by the national media or being such a center of interest,” UW-Milwaukee political science professor Mordecai Lee said in an interview.

Lee notes that Trump’s visit put pressure on the Biden campaign to more sharply draw a contrast with his opponent on each side’s handling the issues of race and law enforcement in America.

“What [Biden is] saying is that as a counter point to what the president said and did in Kenosha, ‘I will be there 48 hours later and I will show that there is a democratic difference between his view and my view.’”

While some are looking forward to another visit, others are tired of all the attention here and just want things to get back to normal.  

“I do think it’s important that they come,” said Kenosha resident Thomas Casey. 

He is happy Biden is coming to Kenosha.  “It’s showing support for our community and it makes people remember what’s going on here,” said Casey.

After the week that this city has been through, some welcome the chance for outsiders to see Kenosha as more than just burning buildings. 

“It’s a lot going on in our small town,” said Victoria Rodriguez. “I think a lot that’s not shown is the community coming together, a lot of people are going to areas of the town that they’ve never been to before.” 

But others are tired.  We spoke to several residents who are eager for the boards and gates to come down, and for life get back to normal.  They worry another presidential visit will only prolong the wait.  

Others see an opportunity.  “It could be very beneficial,” said Will Apjar.  He hopes the visit will highlight the problems some residents face in Kenosha, and talk about ways to fix them. 

“The last thing Kenosha needs is for the focus to be on the election necessarily, rather than the actual real problems that are affecting people,” said Apjar. 

We reached out the Sheriff’s Office, they gave us this statement: 

“With the local, regional, and national law enforcement support currently in our city, we believe we have sufficient resources to manage former Vice President Biden’s visit tomorrow and keep people safe.  Specific details of the visit are not available at this time.” 
The Biden campaign says he will meet with Jacob Blake’s family, but didn’t release any other details about the visit.  

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Posted: 10:00 a.m. on Sept. 2, 2020

KENOSHA, Wis. (CBS 58) -- Presidential candidate Joe Biden will visit Kenosha on Thursday, Sept. 3, his campaign confirmed Wednesday. 

Jill Biden will also be there. 

The Biden campaign announced the former VP will hold a community meeting in Kenosha to bring together Americans to heal and address the challenges we face. After, Vice President Biden and Dr. Biden will make a local stop.

This is a developing story. Stick with CBS 58 on air and online for updates. 

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