A Christian college in Milwaukee, Wisconsin has canceled plans to have Vice President Mike Pence deliver a commencement address, citing unrest in nearby Kenosha where black man Jacob Blake was shot by police last weekend.
Wisconsin Lutheran College announced the news on Thursday, less than 48 hours before the Vice President was set arrive at the small school to speak.
In a statement, a college spokesperson said that ‘after further review with careful consideration of the escalating events in Kenosha, Pence would not be delivering the address.’
The college, which enrolls about 1,200 students, is located about 40 miles from Kenosha – which has seen four consecutive nights of civil unrest following Blake’s shooting.
Last Sunday, Kenosha police shot Blake seven times in the back after responding to a domestic incident.
Blake survived but is paralyzed from the waist down, and the shooting sparked several nights of Black Lives Matter protests, which spilled over into riots.
In shocking scenes broadcast from the city, entire car yards were set on fires, businesses were looted and homes were vandalized.
Armed protesters and vigilantes were also seen strolling the streets of the city as cops failed to contain the situation.
On Tuesday night, authorities allege Kyle Rittenhouse, a 17-year-old police admirer from nearby Antioch, Illinois, shot and killed two protesters and wounded a third.
The deceased were named as Joseph Rosenbaum, 36, and Anthony Huber, 26.
Rittenhouse has now been charged with murder.
The unrest in Kenosha was alluded to in a separate address Pence gave on Wednesday evening during the Republican National Convention.
‘Joe Biden would double down on the very policies that are leading to violence in America’s cities. The hard truth is you won’t be safe in Joe Biden’s America,’ Pence warned, after calling for ‘law and order’ on the streets.
‘And under President Trump, we will always stand with those who stand on the thin blue line and we’re not going to defund the police, not now not ever.’
More than 270 students and alumni signed an open letter posted online objecting to the visit, which was announced prior to the violence in Kenosha.
The vice president will be replaced by the Rev. Mark Jeske, of St. Marcus Lutheran Church.