This was a week when law and order was the primary focus of the campaign after events in Kenosha, Wisconsin last week.
What happened in Kenosha?
Sunday: Kenosha Police respond to a call of ‘domestic incident’, where Blake was found allegedly trying to break it up. Blake was then shot seven times in the back as he leaned into a vehicle, where his three children were sat. The video was shared on social media. Protesters set cars on fire, smashed windows and clashed with officers in riot gear. A curfew was imposed.
Tuesday: After the 8pm curfew, protests turned violent on the street. At 11.45pm three people were shot, 2 fatally by 17 year old Karl Rittenhouse. Rittenhouse was seen armed with a semiautomatic rifle protecting a car shop. He told Blaze TV he was ‘protecting from the citizens’. Video showed Rittenhouse being chased by protestors as she shot for the second time.
August 31st: A caravan of Trump supporters gathered in Portland. As the vehicles entered downtown Portland, protestors confronted the caravan. Members of the caravan can be seen firing pepper spray and paintballs at the protestors. Aaron J. Danielson wearing a hat of the insignia of Patriot Prayer, a right-wing group, was then shot dead
Trump said Kyle Rittenhouse was ‘trying to get away. He probably would’ve been killed’. On visiting Kenosha this Tuesday the President blamed ‘domestic terror’ for the ‘destruction’. Trump said ‘Radical Left Mayors and Governors of Cities where this crazy violence is taking place have lost control of their movement’.
Joe Biden accused Donald Trump of being a ‘toxic presence’ who has encouraged violence. He spoke out against the violence ‘It’s lawlessness, plain and simple. You know me. Ask yourself: Do I look like a radical socialist with a soft spot for rioters? Really?’
55% of Americans now believe relations between White and Black Americans are ‘very/somewhat bad’. This has been increasing since 2015. In 2013 70% believed them to be ‘very/somewhat good’. Pew Research finds that ‘violent crime’ ranks only fifth in importance behind economy, healthcare and coronavirus. The real battle is over what voters think the protests represent. According to JP Morgan analyst Kolanovic, polls could ‘shift five to ten points from Biden to Trump if the perception of protests shifts from justice to violence’.