Pentagon Takes 'Rare Step' After Latest Protests

And Minnesota's governor calls in more National Guard
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted May 30, 2020 10:15 AM CDT
Military Police Are Put on Alert
A protestor stands in the middle of the tear gas confronting tactical officers at the intersection of Young St. and S. Griffin St. in downtown Dallas, Friday, May 29, 2020.   (Tom Fox/The Dallas Morning News via AP)

Minnesota's governor is "fully mobilizing" the National Guard to quell violence that has erupted in Minneapolis and to some extent in St. Paul, USA Today reports. Numbers vary, but CBS Minnesota notes that up to 13,000 soldiers and airmen might be serving in Minnesota and CNN reports that 2,500 personnel will be mobilized by noon Saturday. The National Guard influx will add to those who arrived Friday. "Our great cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul are under assault," says Gov. Tim Walz. "The situation in in Minneapolis is now about attacking civil society, instilling fear and disrupting our great city." He estimates that roughly 80% of protesters were out-of-state and said officials will soon release names and background data of people arrested.

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey also talked to reporters, saying that "this is no longer about verbal expression. This is about violence and we need to make sure that it stops." Meanwhile, the AP reports that the Pentagon has taken the "rare step" of telling the US Army to deploy active-duty US military police units in Minneapolis. Sources say that includes soldiers from Fort Bragg in North Carolina, Fort Drum in New York, Fort Carson in Colorado, and Fort Riley in Kansas. The orders were given verbally Friday after President Trump sought military options from Defense Secretary Mark Esper to curb the protests in Minneapolis. (See what Killer Mike says about the unrest.)

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