Minnesota Governor Tim Walz has authorized the deployment of additional National Guard troops in the greater Minneapolis area. At this time, Walz has indicated how many troops will be deployed to the Minneapolis area over the next few weeks.
“The upcoming trials of the former officers involved in the death of George Floyd have raised the potential of civil unrest in the Cities of Minneapolis, Saint Paul, and nearby communities,” Walz stated in an executive order.
“The Mayors of Minneapolis and Saint Paul have requested assistance from the State, including the Minnesota National Guard, to support public safety and security and to prevent or respond to potential civil unrest. In addition to other state resources, the National Guard can supplement local law enforcement efforts to keep the peace, ensure public safety, and allow for peaceful demonstrations.”
The deployment of National Guard troops comes approximately one month before Derek Chauvin is set to stand trial for the murder of George Floyd. Last May, Chauvin was caught on camera pressing his knee against Floyd’s next for more than eight minutes. Not long thereafter, Floyd was pronounced dead at the age of 46. Alongside Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor’s death, the killing of George Floyd sparked a string of protests across the world. Nearly one year later, Chauvin is facing one count of second-degree murder and one count of manslaughter. His trial is set to start on March 8, 2021.