Kyle Rittenhouse trial: National Guard troops training

As the world waits for the jury to decide the Kyle Rittenhouse case, FOX6 News cameras spotted Wisconsin National Guard troops training Wednesday, Nov. 17.

Gov. Tony Evers activated 500 troops. They will remain on standby in the event local police in Kenosha request their help.

Troops and Humvees were gathering roughly 35 minutes away and another group more than an hour away from the Kenosha County Courthouse. There, supporters and opponents of Rittenhouse gathered, some entering intense debates, including some scuffles.

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The mission of the troops, on standby in Waukesha and Milwaukee counties, would be to assist local law enforcement and first responders and to protect what is deemed critical infrastructure.

"I've spoken a lot to a lot of local officials, they currently feel comfortable that they have the resources needed to be able to maintain public safety. They have over 500 National Guard troops," said U.S. Rep. Bryan Steil, whose district includes Kenosha. "To scale that: On the Monday following the original incident, there was only 125 National Guard troops. On Tuesday, when the incident played out that's being debated by the jury right now, there was only 250 National Guard troops. So, it's positive to see that we finally got the message."

Wisconsin National Guard troops on standby amid the Kyle Rittenhouse trial.

Neighboring Racine police said Kenosha has not yet asked for any specific help.

"Currently, we don't have any officers or are not actively involved in Kenosha. But like any large-scale events involving unrest or police assistance, we will evaluate any requests that may come our way and respond within our capabilities," Racine Police Lt. Chad Melby said.

Wisconsin National Guard humvees

While crowds gathered outside the Kenosha County Courthouse, some supported Rittenhouse while others opposed the 18-year-old on trial.

"I don’t think the National Guard is necessary. I mean, we’ve been meeting out here since the trial started. It’s been civil for the most part. We’re hoping for justice, but in he event that it’s not, I don’t believe they will tear up the city," Kenosha resident Veronica King said.

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"I came out to show my (second amendment) sign. If something were to happen to me, I’m not going to fight back, I’m going to leave the situation. If I see something break out, that’s my exit. I’m done," said Matt McGinnis of Delavan.

Kenosha police said "malicious actors" have spread disinformation online, but, to date, there is no credible threat to public safety.

Wisconsin National Guard troops on standby amid the Kyle Rittenhouse trial.

The Kenosha County Sheriff's Department had not requested the National Guard to respond, as of Wednesday afternoon.

The Wisconsin National Guard headquarters sent activated troops a survey, which FOX6 obtained, asking if they'd be negatively impacted if the current active duty continued through the weekend – when the state's gun deer season opens. The survey also asked troops if they would be negatively impacted if active duty continued through Thanksgiving.

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