National Guard soldiers return to Arizona from Wisconsin

September 3, 2020 GMT

PHOENIX (AP) — A contingent of National Guard soldiers has returned to Arizona from Wisconsin, where they were sent to help after unrest over the shooting by police of Jacob Blake.

The Arizona National Guard Guard sent 150 members of the 850th Military Police Battalion to help law enforcement in Kenosha on Aug. 27. The Guard said the soldiers returned to Arizona on Tuesday.

Arizona was among three states that sent Guard units to Wisconsin after Gov. Tony Evers requested assistance.

Blake, a Black man, was shot seven times in the back by a white police officer on Aug. 23, sparking three night of unrest that resulted in multiple fires and damage to numerous downtown businesses. Two nights after the shooting, prosecutors say 17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse fatally shot two demonstrators and wounded a third. His attorney argues it was self defense.

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Kenosha on Wednesday ended a curfew that had been in place since Aug. 24.

The Arizona National Guard said it has experienced a record level of activations this year, including mobilizations and deployments related to wildfires, COVID-19, the Southwest Border Mission and civil support to law enforcement.