The Minnesota National Guard's presence in the Twin Cities is expected to double by the end of Monday as authorities prepare for protests and potential unrest following the police killing of 20-year-old Daunte Wright in Brooklyn Center.
At a press conference featuring Gov. Tim Walz Monday afternoon, Minnesota National Guard Adjutant General Shawn Manke said that more than 1,000 National Guard soldiers will be present in the metro Monday evening.
That's more than double the current 500 soldiers who have already been assigned to the Twin Cities to provide security during the murder trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin.
The soldiers in the metro Monday night will be held in staging areas until they're needed on the ground. Manke said that his soldiers thus far hasn't used "non-lethal" ammunition rounds, and doesn't intend to start.
The death of 20-year-old Wright on Sunday afternoon sparked protests outside the Brooklyn Center Police Department that night, with police using tear gas, rubber bullets, and flash bangs to disperse protesters after some had thrown items towards riot police.
There was also looting and break-ins at retail businesses in Brooklyn Center, Brooklyn Park, and Minneapolis while the protests were happening outside the police station.
An overnight curfew has been imposed in Hennepin, Ramsey, and Anoka counties starting at 7 p.m. Monday night, with citizens urged to stay home after these times.
A protest planned in Brooklyn Center for 7 p.m. has been brought forward due to the curfew, but some protesters angered by another police shooting of a Black person are expected to stay out past the curfew.
While much of the looting and property damage was seen at the Shingle Creek Crossing shopping center in Brooklyn Center, some of it also spilled over into Brooklyn Park and Minneapolis, including the Uptown area.
Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo said that there were 25-30 arrests made during the unrest on Sunday evening, though it's not clear whether that was in Minneapolis alone or during the response to the entire unrest.
What's more, Arradondo said that "Operation Safety Net" – the metro-wide law enforcement operation implemented during the Derek Chauvin trial – will be moving into "Phase 3," which will mean more uniformed officers and National Guard visible on the street. This phase wasn't meant to be activated until after the Chauvin trial finished.
Gov. Walz criticized those who "try take advantage" of community grief and peaceful protest "to create chaos and damage," and said to anyone wishing to do harm, "it will not be tolerated."
"It's devastating and heartbreaking that we’re here once again," Walz said, before reeling off a list of Black men killed by police in Minnesota in recent years.
He also called on the Minnesota Legislature to "finally" hold hearings on policing reforms that would, among other things, help prevent "a routine traffic stop from turning deadly."