Minnesota Set for State’s Largest Troop Deployment Amid Unrest

Minnesota is deploying as many as 1,700 troops to tackle the intensifying unrest in what Governor Tim Walz said is the largest such measure in the state’s history.

Walz earlier issued anexecutive order for a temporary 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew for Minneapolis and St. Paul on the heels of protests in the metropolitan area over the killing of George Floyd. The added deployment came after rioters outnumbered law-enforcement officers in a “dangerous environment,” he said.

“Our state is in chaos,” he said in a televised briefing late Friday night. This is “an unprecedented threat to our state, tragedy that was the catalyst for this that has morphed into something much different.”

The curfew, set for Friday and Saturday, has been imposed in all public spaces in both cities. Law enforcement and first responders are among those exempt from the restrictions, as well as people who are fleeing danger or the homeless. The troops will ensure public safety as well as protect assets including the Federal Reserve, Walz said.

Former police officer Derek Chauvin was arrested Friday afternoon in connection with the death of Floyd and charged with murder and manslaughter.

“We are trying to use all the tools we have” as rioters are “out there to cause as much damage as they can,” the governor said, adding that the unrest needs to be contained before the community is able to address issues including “systemic inequities and discrimination” that led to Floyd’s death. “We’ve got to stop this piece first to get to the other.”

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