Minnesota gov. asks Trump for federal disaster declaration
Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz (D) is asking President Donald Trump for a federal disaster declaration for his state due to extensive destruction in the unrest that followed the death of George Floyd on Memorial Day.
“We need to come together to ensure Minnesotans who were victims of this destruction have access to critical infrastructure they need so they can go to the grocery store, pick up their medication, and live their lives,” Walz said. “Together, we will rebuild. We’re asking our federal partners to step up and help our communities recover.”
The governor’s office estimates the damage to be more than $500 million, impacting 1,500 businesses in Minneapolis and St. Paul. Fires set by protesters led to a majority of the damage. Businesses and vehicles were engulfed in flames and one of the police department’s buildings was torched and abandoned.
The state believes it can recover up to $15 million from the federal government in damages to public infrastructure alone.
“We are committed to helping our communities rebuild, but we can’t do this on our own,” said Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan. “While state, tribal, and local budgets are stretched thin by COVID-19, we need everyone to step up, including the federal government, to restore safety and critical infrastructure to our communities.”
The massive protests started a nationwide call for police reform after Floyd was murdered by a Minneapolis police officer. Walz eventually fully activated the Minnesota National Guard for the first time since World War II to restore order after the protests turned violent.
President Trump and others have been critical of Democrat leadership in Minnesota during the riots.
“If I didn’t demand that National Guard Troops go into Minneapolis after watching how poorly the Liberal Democrat government was handling things, you wouldn’t even have a Minneapolis now. Once they were deployed, in force, all looting, burning and crime stopped DEAD,” Trump tweeted.
Minnesota citizens have been taking to Twitter to ask the president not to grant the governor’s request.
“Now @GovTimWalz wants $$ he wrote the President a letter begging. As a Minnesotan, do not send him $, he doesn’t deserve it. It wasn’t a federal disaster. It was an embarrassment to our state to have such an incompetent Gov &Mayor @Jacob_Frey. President Trump plz investigate them,” tweeted one Minnesotan.
It would be unusual for a president to not grant a request for a federal disaster declaration but nothing is normal in 2020.
Meanwhile, the four police officers involved in Floyd’s death have been fired from the Minneapolis Police Department and all criminally charged.
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