Feb 5, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Minnesota governor activates National Guard ahead of Derek Chauvin's trial

Mugshot of Derek Chauvin on the left and photo of a crowd holding up signs in support of Black Lives Matter at a protest
Ex-police officer Derek Chauvin; a Black Lives Matter protest in front of a police precinct in Minneapolis. Photos: Hennepin County Sheriff's Office and Stephen Maturen via Getty Images

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz (D) signed an executive order on Friday to deploy the National Guard to Minneapolis, St. Paul and neighboring communities in the interest of "public safety" ahead of former police officer Derek Chauvin's trial.

Why it matters: The killing of George Floyd, a Black man who died last May after Chauvin kneeled on his neck for more than eight minutes, ignited a wave of protests against racial injustice and police brutality.

  • Chauvin's trial is set for March 8.

Details: The National Guard will not be on the ground immediately. Details on the deployment have not yet been announced, but they will remain in place until the order is rescinded or the need for assistance ends, according to Walz.

  • "Per my direction, the National Guard has already begun planning and preparing for activation to state service," Walz said in the order.
  • The mayors of Minneapolis and St. Paul requested assistance from the state and the National Guard.

Between the lines, via Axios' Torey Van Oot: The announcement comes as the Democratic governor ramps up pressure on legislative Republicans to approve millions in state funding for trial security. Walz has urged the Legislature to act within the next week.

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