Gov. Tim Walz slams response from Minneapolis leaders to protests, riots

He said the state will be taking a more active role in the unrest.
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Gov. Tim Walz and other state leaders have slammed the "lack of leadership" in Minneapolis in response to the ongoing protests and rioting following the death of George Floyd.

Both Walz and Minnesota National Guard Lt. Gen. Jon Jensen criticized the "lack of plan" in Minneapolis Thursday night, as the city's 3rd Police Precinct and countless other buildings were burned by rioters.

Walz activated the National Guard following a request from Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey, but said after that it was Frey's responsibility to "take charge and lead on the position," also criticizing the response from Minneapolis police leaders.

But after Jensen said National Guard troops came to the city and received no clear direction or strategy to tackle the unrest, Walz said the state would take a more active role in the situation from now on.

"You will not see that tonight. There will be no lack of leadership," he said.

"If this would've been executed correctly, the state would not lead on this."

Walz said he was informed by Frey early Thursday that they would likely let the 3rd Precinct be overrun, given the severity of the situation in south Minneapolis.

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Walz said he didn't agree with this, but he didn't have any authority to effect a change. 

He was also critical of St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter for failing to request National Guard aid until 5 p.m., several hours after looting and arsons had started.

Walz said state leaders are working on a plan for Friday night in the Twin Cities, which should be released by 2 p.m.

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