The thousands of law enforcement personnel and National Guard soldiers patrolling Twin Cities streets could be on their way home in the near future.
Gov. Tim Walz said Tuesday, just hours after a jury found former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin guilty on all three counts for the murder of George Floyd, said the state will demobilize the police presence in the Twin Cities "as quickly as we possibly can."
Thousands of Minnesotans were marching through the streets of Minneapolis after the jury's decision,.some decrying the presence of the National Guard. But protesters will be allowed to peacefully protest without interruption – and no curfew – Tuesday night.
"This is a night for restraint. We are going to make sure that peoples' First Amendment rights, first and foremost, can be expressed safely," said John Harrington, commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Public Safety. "Only in those situations where it's most dangerous would we be expecting to take police action."
Harrington said a curfew Tuesday night "would not make sense," and reiterated that police "stand ready to take action if necessary."
"We still stand ready to take action if necessary, but we are, as a profession, we stand with the community," he said.