No plans for Trump to meet family of Jacob Blake

Trump will meet with Kenosha law enforcement and business owners to survey damages. (AP pic)

WASHINGTON: Donald Trump has no plans to meet with relatives of a black man who was shot by police when the president visits the Wisconsin city where the shooting sparked violent demonstrations, the White House said Monday.

Trump travels to Kenosha, Wisconsin on Tuesday, defying Democratic leaders there who have reportedly urged him not to visit the city in the wake of the shooting.

According to press secretary Kayleigh McEnany, “currently the plans are to meet with local law enforcement and some business owners and he’ll survey the damage” from several nights of violent unrest after a white police officer shot African-American Jacob Blake seven times at point-blank range in the back.

Asked specifically if there were plans for Trump to meet with Blake’s family, McEnany said “not currently”, although she did say the White House was seeking to make contact through a pastor and directly with Blake’s relatives.

“The president wants to visit hurting Americans,” she said in broadly discussing the president’s plans.

Blake, 29, was shot and gravely injured on Aug 23, in front of his children.

His lawyer said Blake will likely be paralysed from the waist down.

The subsequent unrest featured Black Lives Matter protests, riots and the arrival of armed, white vigilantes, culminating in an incident where a 17-year-old militia enthusiast allegedly shot dead two people during Tuesday protests.

Trump has said little publicly about the shooting, telling reporters on Friday night that “I didn’t like the sight of it, certainly, and I think most people would agree with that”.

The president has been far more vocal about making the case for being the “law and order” leader heading into the November election against Democrat Joe Biden.

Trump has repeatedly attacked Democratic leaders of US cities – including Portland, where a man was shot dead Saturday as Trump supporters clashed with leftwing groups in the city – saying they have failed to keep violence under control.