Businesses got drought, shots fired at police and demonstrations turned violent across the Twin Cities early Saturday in the Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz (D) called an “extremely dangerous, fluid and dynamic” situation that has triggered the largest deployment of civil law enforcement in state history.
More than 2,500 state and local police and national guard troops – a force greater than the response to riots in the late 1960s – went out to protect firefighters who tried to put out fires and execute an 8 p.m. curfew has been defied by some groups that infiltrated the protests and inflicted “willing destruction”
“I can understand the rage,” Walz said at a news conference. “But this is not sadness. … This is not about George’s death. … This is about creating chaos. “
The governor said he takes responsibility for underestimating the level of violence that erupted after former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin’s grip, explaining that his strength was surpassed by the thousands of people who spilled onto the city streets. Legislation – reinforced by 1,000 national guard troops – began enforcing the curfew around 11:30 p.m. and were changing tactics throughout the night, retreating to protect various assets, including the 5th Police District.
Major General Jon A. Jensen, deputy general of the Minnesota National Guard, confirmed that the state had not been consulted but thought it was wise by the Pentagon to activate the military police in the event that they needed assistance in restoring the order. About 1,000 more National Guard troops reporting to the service this weekend will join the police force in the Twin Cities.
State and local officials expect another major protest later on Saturday, expressing concern that anarchists, criminal opportunists and other groups will merge into legitimate grief and stockpile more destruction.
“These people want nothing more than to attract conflict,” Walz said.
Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey (D) said the city’s resources have been overwhelmed.
“We as a city are so much more than this. We as a city can be so much better than this, ”he said. “There is no honor in burning down your city. … If you care about your community, you have to put an end to this. It must stop. “