During a press conference on Saturday morning, Minnesota Public Safety Commissioner John Harrington explained the deteriorating state of the George Floyd demonstrations over the last several days, noting that thousands of law enforcement officials from various agencies had “assembled the largest civil policing authority in the history of Minnesota.”
“We put together twenty-five hundred public safety folks, between national guard and cops and state troopers and everybody else,” he said. “That is an enormous number of law enforcement people, and we were confronted with tens of thousands of rioters.”
Earlier in the press conference, Harrington described the rioters as “bent on destruction of property, and they were bent on trying to hurt people.”
The safety commissioner also emphasized that the transition from protests to riots has occurred over the last several days, noting that initial demonstrators were peaceful, but that the new scene has been filled with rioters who don’t show “any empathy or any heart” for the community.
“That little group that started out embedding themselves into George Floyd’s memorial service is no longer the little group,” Harrington told reporters later in the press conference. “It is in fact the group that is throwing projectiles, throwing batteries, firing into crowds, and setting fires and attacking firefighters, EMS, law enforcement, sheriff’s department and national guardsman as they seek to provide safety in our communities.”
As The Daily Wire previously reported, Governor Tim Walz (D-MN) announced Saturday he would fully mobilize the Minnesota National Guard and seek “significant support” from the national guards of adjacent states.
“We will pull in assets as we have been doing, and for those Minnesotans who have been wondering, ‘where are the fire trucks, where are the police that are out there,’ the situation was so broad, and the tactics were so bent on causing destruction, that every single person we had mobilized” had been engaged in the situation, said the governor.
President Trump told reporters outside the White House on Saturday afternoon that he was prepared to provide Minneapolis with military assistance if it was requested, reports NBC News.
“We have our military ready, willing, and able, if they ever want to call our military. We can have troops on the ground very quickly,” said Trump. “They’re using their National Guard right now, as you know.”
Secretary of Defense Mark Esper and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley have “expressed the department’s readiness to provide support to local and state authorities as requested” and have had two conversations with the Minnesota governor,” reports The Washington Post. However, active duty troops have not been deployed.
According to the Star Tribune, the governor has institute a curfew effective 8 p.m. CST in response to the widespread destruction, and promised on Saturday morning that any future agitators will face “an overwhelming force of safety, security and peace.”
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