Governor Tim Walz has ordered the largest National Guard deployment in Minnesota history as Minneapolis and Saint Paul brace for another night of riots, following continued destruction Friday night and Saturday morning that overwhelmed law enforcement’s capability to respond. The governor estimates 80 percent of those acting violently are from outside Minnesota. Minnesota National Guard Adjutant General Jon Jensen says he’ll have between 24-hundred and 13-thousand-200 troops available, but officials did not address whether those numbers will be adequate to quell the violence which many acknowledge has been nearly out-of-control for several nights in Minneapolis, and to a lesser degree in neighboring Saint Paul.
The governor says he’s been in communication with the Secretary of Defense but is *not* requesting federal troops at this point. Walz says, “They’re not talking about mobilizing the entire United States Army. We’re probably talking in the neighbor[hood] of several hundred. We can get more troops quicker than that by doing this, but that is an option that was put out there.”
The governor urged citizens of Minneapolis and Saint Paul to strictly observe the 8 p-m curfew, despite their pain over the killing of George Floyd. “What you’ve seen in previous nights I think will be dwarfed by what they will do tonight. And if you are an innocent bystander going out there tonight, you will be swept up in this,” Walz said.
Mayor Jacob Frey warned citizens of Minneapolis, before an 8 p-m curfew takes effect, that “by being out tonight, you are most definitely helping those who seek to wrong our city.” Frey says police forces, even supplemented by the State Patrol and National Guard, were overwhelmed by rioters last night and early this morning. “If we were to place an officer at all of the businesses that we were seeing getting attacked and looted, it would be one officer facing in some instances 100 people coming in,” he said.
State Public Safety Commissioner John Harrington described tactics that rioters are using: “Literally there are five thousand of them surrounding a building, trashing the building and then, when confronted, running back under the cover of darkness into residential areas.”