“Out of an abundance of caution for the safety of Minnesotans, we have asked the Minnesota National Guard to prepare to assist in keeping the peace,” the governor said in a statement.
The Minnesota National Guard also revealed they are mobilizing in response to the governor’s demands, noting they “will report for duty and stage in preparation for potential response in support of local law enforcement pending specific mission requests.”
Minneapolis Police spokesperson John Elder also issued a statement, ensuring residents’ “rights to lawfully and peacefully protest” will be protected.
“We are aware of current and future possible flashpoints that present challenges on both a local and national level,” he said, per FOX 9. “We are and will continue to work with our law enforcement partners, locally, regionally and federally in order to properly respond to situations as they unfold. We continue to work with our various communities to ensure our residents’ First Amendment rights to lawfully and peacefully protest are protected while maintaining public safety for all.”
Walz’s announcement comes after Derek Chauvin, the officer who kneeled on Floyd’s neck for nearly 9 minutes, was released from a maximum security prison. Minnesota Department of Corrections confirmed he was no longer in custody after posting his $1 million bond.
The conditions of his bond require him to attend all court appearances and avoid contact with Floyd’s family. He must also obtain written permission to leave Minnesota and is banned from law enforcement and security jobs.
Chauvin was indicted on murder and manslaughter charges following Floyd’s death. His trial is slated to begin in March.