Minnesota governor fully mobilizes state’s National Guard after civil unrest sparked by death of George Floyd

Members of the National Guard hold a perimeter as a fire crew works to put out a fire at a gas station on Lake Street on Friday night in Minneapolis.
Members of the National Guard hold a perimeter as a fire crew works to put out a fire at a gas station on Lake Street on Friday night in Minneapolis.(Stephen Maturen/Getty Images)

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz on Saturday fully mobilized the state’s National Guard — for the first time in the state’s history — in response to the unrest sparked by the death of George Floyd.
The announcement comes after the fourth straight night of protests and violent riots, which saw buildings torched, windows smashed and businesses looted across Minneapolis.
The governor said many of the protesters were coming from out of state in “an organized attempt to destabilize civil society.”
He vowed to control the situation.
“If you are on the streets tonight, it is very clear: you are not with us, you do not share our values and we will use the full strength of goodness and righteousness to make sure that this ends," Walz said.
The city of Minneapolis has been a powder keg since Tuesday, when video of 46-year-old Floyd’s final moments was shared online. In handcuffs at the time, he could be heard saying “I can’t breathe,” while an officer knelt down on his neck until he became unconscious.
Floyd was pronounced dead 90 minutes later. But the situation in Minneapolis “is no longer in any way about the murder of George Floyd,” Walz said Saturday morning.
More than 700 soldiers and air service members were activated overnight and the governor deployed another 1,000 officers Saturday in response to the ongoing unrest.
“We are ‘all-in’ to restore order and maintain and keep the peace in Minnesota,” the Guard tweeted, adding that the deployment marks the biggest ever in the state’s history.
Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey concurred with the governor, saying most protesters are not residents of the city. Officials added that locals made up about only 20% of the demonstrators.
“This is no longer about protesting,” Frey said. “This is about violence and we need to make sure that it stops.”
City leaders nationwide have called on communities to express their rage in a lawful manner, but the sweeping escalation of protests Friday night dragged on into Saturday.
Murder and manslaughter charges have been filed against Derek Chauvin, one of the four officers at the scene who were all fired. The Department of Justice has said a full investigation of the incident is a “top priority.”

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