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How Trump Supporters And Opponents Feel About His Visit To Kenosha

Susan Bence
Trump supporters hold signs along the road in Civic Center Park in Kenosha.

President Trump visited Kenosha Tuesday in the wake of protests and unrest that have ricocheted through the city.

It was nine days since police shot Jacob Blake in the back, leaving him paralyzed from the waist down, and a week since a 17-year-old from Antioch, Ill., shot and killed two protesters.

Trump surveyed areas damaged by arson and vandalism and held a law enforcement roundtable that was closed to the public.

In the meantime, a crowd gathered at Civic Center Park, where protests have erupted since Blake's shooting.

Credit Susan Bence
Steve Furuglyas, a Racine resident, came to Kenosha in support of President Trump, saying his life is better since Trump's election.

Some simply hoped to spot the president’s motorcade, while others opposed his visit.

Amina Jones would definitely not have cheered in support of President Trump if he motored past the hundreds of people gathered at Civic Center Park. The Chicago resident was among those who traveled to Kenosha to support the family of Blake and denounce the president.

“[Trump] hasn’t done anything, and that’s the problem, because Black people still walk in fear, Hispanic people still don’t have rights and seems like, no offense, white people still feel like they are the superior and no one is superior. I say all the time, 'all lives do matter,' ” says Jones.

Credit Susan Bence
Amina Jones (top, wearing a red cap) confronts a group of Trump supporters.

Standing nearby, Milwaukee-resident Elizabeth, who wouldn’t give her last name, says she came to Kenosha to protest peacefully. She raised a sign reading, "Trump Go Home."

“I just don’t think that Trump should be here. He’s not a healer, he’s a divider and I just want to make that point,” says Elizabeth.

Credit Susan Bence
A small group protests the president and his visit to Kenosha.

On the other side of the political divide stood a military veteran named Marie, who also declined to share her full name. Her sign simply said, ‘Thank You Trump’. The Kenosha resident says she prays her community comes together.

“You can have different views, that’s fine, but let’s be at peace. We are all human beings. Children now have so much fear, are we thinking about these children to see these things?” says Marie.

Credit Susan Bence
Marie, holding her 'Thank you Trump' sign, and fellow Trump supporters wait in hope of seeing his motorcade to pass by Civic Center Park.

Kenosha faces a long road to rebuilding and healing after the last 10 days.

President Trump said he’d help rebuild, focusing on damage to properties looted and in some cases burned out. He promised $4 million to small businesses and $1 million for local law enforcement, touting himself a friend to the police.

Susan Bence entered broadcasting in an untraditional way. After years of avid public radio listening, Susan returned to school and earned a bachelor's degree in Journalism from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She interned for WUWM News and worked with the Lake Effect team, before being hired full-time as a WUWM News reporter / producer.
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