Gov. Tim Walz says his administration is authorizing the full mobilization of the Minnesota National Guard as Minneapolis battles what he calls "a now organized attempt to tear down civil society."
Speaking after another night of arsons that left a trail of destruction in south and north Minneapolis, Walz says he will mobilize the full force of the National Guard for the first time in state history, as well as seeking aid from National Guards in neighboring states, as well as police officers from cities and counties around the Twin Cities.
Walz says by this afternoon, the size of the response will increase "exponentially," utilizing resources in neighboring counties and cities, as well as other states.
"We expect by noon to have 2,500 soldiers and airmen mobilized and in support of the governor's executive order," said Maj. Gen. Jon Jenson. "But that's not enough."
"It means we're all in," Jenson added.
The governor made it clear that the destruction seen in Minneapolis is no longer about George Floyd's murder, nor being perpetrated by the protesters calling for justice.
Instead, authorities are being shot at, facing improvised-explosive devices from a "highly-evolved and concentrated group of folks" who are shifting their tactics with the intent of causing maximum destruction.
Walz says that during the day, the peaceful protests for George Floyd will continue, and will likely be larger given it's the weekend.
But the 8 p.m. curfew is in place and this time Minneapolis will be the scene of "the largest force that has ever come forward in the State of Minnesota history."
Walz said that what started out as peaceful protesting and legitimate anger to Floyd's death has become bastardized by nefarious actors.
"The situation in Minneapolis is no longer about the murder of George Floyd, it's about attacking civil society, instilling fear and disrupting our great cities," Walz said.
He said that due to the tactics of those burning the city on Friday, resources were spread to thin to respond all at once.
"I'm not seeing peaceful demonstrations. I'm not seeing any empathy or any heart for Mr. Floyd or the communities that he loved," said Minnesota Department of Public Safety Commissioner John Harrington. "Last night we saw not only a change in the temperament and the approach of what I will call riots. They were not protesting for injustice, they were simply bent on destruction of property and they were bent on trying to hurt people."
Walz then threatened than anyone on the streets past curfew Saturday night will put themselves at risk of being arrested.
"If you are on the streets tonight, it is very clear: You are not with us, you do not share our values."