100 National Guardsmen ready for possible unrest in Minnesota
Steven Hall, DCNF
The Minnesota governor issued a warning order to the National Guard Wednesday to be ready for possible deployment in Minneapolis following multiple nights of unrest.
Democratic Gov. Tim Walz said in a statement on Wednesday that he ordered the Minnesota National Guard to start preparing to assist local law enforcement if they need help, according to the Star Tribune. Residents have protested in the area over the death of a black man by two officers, and a police protestor being killed when a car rammed through demonstrators.
“The Minnesota National Guard has not been given any operational orders, and as of this time their assistance has not been needed,” the governor’s office said, after receiving a request from Democratic Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey.
The @MNNationalGuard has activated approximately 100 Soldiers from the 257th Military Police Company at the request of the city of Minneapolis for potential support to civil unrest within the city.
— MN National Guard (@MNNationalGuard) June 16, 2021
Frey referred to the ongoing protests as “peaceful” in the letter to the governor and that city and state offices are in close communication, according to Star Tribune. This is the fifth time since George Floyd’s death that Frey has asked for assistance from the National Guard to quell unrest.
The request came after multiple nights when protesters controlled the intersection of Lake Street and Girard Avenue in Uptown, where there have been daily protests about the death of Winston Boogie Smith Jr. and Deona Knajdek, a protester, who was killed after a car plowed through the area, according to Star Tribune.
Smith, a 32-year-old father of three, had a warrant out for a felony firearms violation. Police tried to take Smith into custody, but two sheriff’s deputies shot and killed him on June 3.
After the police refused to release video footage of Smith’s death, protestors took to the streets in Uptown.
Frey announced in a conference on Tuesday that police would begin making arrests in Uptown if ongoing protests are not peaceful. Frey said that while the city supports people protesting, the “unauthorized shutdown” of an intersection was unsafe and needed to stop.
“We can demand accountability, we can demand transparency, without compromising the necessary facets of community service that we need on a daily basis,” Frey said.