Minnesota Governor Tim Walz activated the National Guard following the Thursday (Oct. 22) court ruling involving one of the former Minneapolis police officers who was involved in the killing of George Floyd.
According to Fox 9, Hennepin County District Court Judge Peter Cahill dismissed the third-degree murder charge against Derek Chauvin — the ex-cop who placed his knee on Floyd’s neck for almost nine minutes during his deadly arrest. The judge, however, ruled to uphold the other eight charges against Chauvin. Walz called the judge’s decision to keep the remaining charges against Chauvin and the other three former officers a “positive step in the path towards justice for George Floyd.”
The state requested the National Guard as a precaution to possible unrest over the ruling. The Guard is mobilizing 100 soldiers and providing equipment and facilities to the city of Minneapolis. The Minnesota State Patrol has also mobilized an undisclosed number of state troopers to assist the local police.
Tou Thao, J. Alexander Kueng and Thomas Lane — the other former officers who were involved in Floyd’s death — are currently charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder, and aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter.
Last month, the legal teams for all four defendants asked for the trial to be moved out of Hennepin County to avoid harassment by protesters. Attorney Thomas Plunkett, who is representing Kueng, said an armed man walked through the courthouse yelling, “Kill Chauvin” earlier this month.
“The intensity accompanying these proceedings has continued to increase as time has passed and grown into the real potential for deadly violence,” Plunkett said. “Moving these proceedings to a county that does not have a public thoroughfare passing through the lobby is necessary. This matter cannot be tried in a location where protesters may hop on a bus or train in response to a call for violence.”
Judge Cahill has yet to rule on the request.