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Gov. Tim Walz activates National Guard ahead of VP Mike Pence visit to Twin Cities

The vice president is attending a Cops for Trump event near MSP Airport Thursday afternoon.
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Gov. Tim Walz has activated the National Guard to address the "additional security needs" surrounding Vice President Mike Pence's visit to the Twin Cities on Thursday.

Pence and Ivanka Trump will attend a "Cops for Trump" listening session at the International Hotel near MSP Airport Thursday afternoon. 

It comes a day after a grand jury decision not to indict three police officers for the killing of Breonna Taylor (one was indicted for causing wanton endangerment to neighboring properties) sparked renewed protests calling for racial justice across the country, including in St. Paul.

The National Guard will send 100 soldiers to assist local police providing security, as well as providing equipment and facilities to support the local response.

"Out of an abundance of caution for the safety of Minnesotans, we have asked the Minnesota National Guard to assist in keeping the peace," said Governor Walz.

"The Vice President’s visit and continued concern related to the Breonna Taylor matter are likely to prompt public demonstrations and civil unrest," he added in his executive order.

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The "Cops for Trump" movement was sparked in the Twin Cities last year, with Minneapolis Police Federation President Bob Kroll creating "Cops for Trump" t-shirts as a fundraiser for the union, after Minneapolis Police Department implemented new rules preventing them from appearing in police uniform at political events.

The policy came into place just before a rally for President Trump at Target Center, at which Kroll was among the speakers.

It's not clear if Kroll will be in attendance at the Thursday event.

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