Adrian Perkins 072320

Shreveport Mayor Adrian Perkins addresses media after qualifying to run for the U.S. Senate on Thursday, July 23, 2020.

Adrian Perkins believes President Donald Trump missed the chance to promote healing during his visit to Kenosha, Wisconsin, on Tuesday in the aftermath of the police shooting that left a Black man paralyzed and the town full of protesters, including some who vandalized buildings.

Perkins, the Democratic mayor of Shreveport, is challenging U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy, a Baton Rouge Republican, in the November election.

“Reckless far-left politicians continue to push the destructive message that our nation and law enforcement are oppressive or racist,” Trump said during a session with local sheriffs and Republican political leaders in Kenosha. “They’ll throw out any word that comes to them. Actually, we should show far greater support for our law enforcement.”

Kenosha’s mayor and Wisconsin’s governor both had asked Trump not to visit Kenosha, saying they feared it would inflame an already complicated situation.

Trump, Perkins said, should have also lauded the peaceful demonstrators.

“The president was saying let’s support law enforcement, as if when you listen to protesters you’re against law enforcement,” Perkins said. “In Shreveport, our protesters were hugging them (the police). We came together as a community. You can 100% support law enforcement and believe that things have to change.”

Since becoming mayor in December 2018, Perkins said he has banned chokeholds by the police and had the police institute more training to de-escalate tense situations.

The police are about to begin having body cameras, said his campaign spokesman Ben Riggs.

“We’ve done a lot with reform here,” Perkins said.

The Cassidy campaign chose not to answer questions about what Trump said and did in Kenosha.

Email Tyler Bridges at tbridges@theadvocate.com.