Donald Trump will meet with local police in Milwaukee on Tuesday as they continue to deal with violent protesters who have burned businesses and targeted law enforcement officials over the shooting of an armed black man by police last Saturday.
The Republican presidential nominee, who describes himself as the "law and order candidate," told WKBT ahead of his gathering with police that he's been watching what has unfolded in Milwaukee "and it's a mess."
"[If] you see what's happening on television, you don't want to go and exactly develop there ... they hurt themselves in a certain way," he said, adding that "we need strong, swift and very fair law and order."
Trump's visit to Milwaukee, where he will also participate in a Fox News town hall with Sean Hannity, comes 48 hours after Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker declared a state of emergency in the county and activated the National Guard in response to the riots.
The candidate declined to say whether police had behaved justifiably with 23-year-old Sylville Smith, who was shot in his chest and arm after he and a second passenger fled police on foot upon being pulled over. Milwaukee Police Chief Edward Flynn later confirmed that Smith has turned "toward the officer with a firearm in his hand."
"I guess, you know, if you believe a gun was pointed at his head, maybe ready to be fired what is a person supposed to do?" Trump said. "We'll find out because they have a tape, as I understand."
"But the gun was pointed at his head, supposedly ready to be fired… Maybe it's not true. If it is true, people shouldn't be rioting," he added.
In addition to his meeting with law enforcement officials and town hall with Hannity, Trump was scheduled to attend at least two fundraisers in the Badger State on Tuesday.