Following a judge's decision to drop one of the lesser charges against former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, Gov. Tim Walz has activated the Minnesota National Guard Thursday, enlisting 100 soldiers to assist local law enforcement agencies in the event of a protest.
Walz activated the National Guard, which is also providing additional equipment, in response to a request from the City of Minneapolis, according to the governor's office. An unspecified number of state troopers have also been mobilized.
Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey made the request “out of an abundance of caution and for the sake of preparedness,” a spokesperson told the Star Tribune.
Earlier Thursday, Walz and Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison spoke positively of the judicial decision, emphasizing that the more serious charges were upheld against Chauvin. Charges against the other three former officers were also upheld.
"In light of developments in the George Floyd case, we’ve taken the precautionary step of asking the Minnesota National Guard to prepare to help ensure safety for Minnesotans," Walz said in a statement. “I want to remind Minnesotans that today’s ruling marks a positive step in the path toward justice for George Floyd.”
Social media does not show signs of planned protests at the same scale following the killing of Floyd. A previously planned protest against police brutality, in part to mark the 25th annual National Day of Protest Against Police Brutality, is scheduled for tonight by organizers including Communities United Against Police Brutality and Black Lives Matter-Twin Cities Metro on Facebook.