The U.S. Army is preparing active duty military units for deployment to Minneapolis after protests over the death of unarmed black man George Floyd continued into a fourth night on Friday night. Floyd’s death sparked protests in more than 30 U.S. cities, and outside the White House.
The Star Tribune reports: “By all accounts, law enforcement presence was almost undetectable as the violence rapidly accelerated until just before midnight and into early Saturday, when hundreds of police officers, state troopers and National Guard troops, some in armored vehicles, fanned out into troubled areas, confronting rioters with mass force, tear gas and orders to disperse issued via bullhorn. And yet, those efforts had visibly little impact for much of the night, and questions swirled among citizens and politicians about how such a dire situation could have developed in a long peaceable, progressive city. The fresh violence came despite Friday’s charges against Derek Chauvin, the police officer suspected in the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man being detained on suspicion of passing a counterfeit bill.”
KSTP reports: “Gov. Tim Walz said the state is in the midst of the largest deployment of the Minnesota National Guard in state history. For context, he said the National Guard contingent currently working to get crowds of protesters under control is three times larger than the force deployed in the 1960s during the race riots.”
Minnesota plans to mobilize 1,700 National Guard soldiers, CNN reports: “About 50 people have been arrested as protests continue across Minneapolis. More than 2,500 officers are helping to keep the peace, Minnesota Department of Public Safety Commissioner John Harrington told a news conference. This is one of the largest civil police forces the state of Minnesota has ever seen, he said. But resources are still stretched thin, with thousands of protesters estimated to have turned out across the city.”
The Pentagon ordered the U.S. Army to prepare approximately 800 U.S. soldiers to head to Minnesota if needed.
The NYT reports: “Officials said that the Army on Friday issued ‘prepare to deploy’ orders for military police units from several army bases around the country. The orders came at the behest of President Trump, the officials said, who has been seeking options from his senior national security leaders, including Defense Secretary Mark Esper, for how to deal with the chaotic protests that have ignited in dozens of cities.”