Governor Walz Signs Executive Order Activating National Guard to Protect the People of Minnesota
Order will help maintain safety in wake of George Floyd’s death
[ST. PAUL, MN] – Governor Tim Walz today signed Executive Order 20-65, activating the Minnesota National Guard to help protect Minnesotans’ safety and maintain peace in the wake of George Floyd’s death. Local leaders have requested National Guard resources after extensive damage to private property occurred and peaceful protests evolved into a dangerous situation for protesters and first responders.
“It is time to rebuild. Rebuild the city, rebuild our justice system, and rebuild the relationship between law enforcement and those they’re charged to protect. George Floyd’s death should lead to justice and systemic change, not more death and destruction. As George Floyd’s family has said, ‘Floyd would not want people to get hurt. He lived his life protecting people.’ Let’s come together to rebuild, remember, and seek justice for George Floyd,” said Governor Walz.
“The anger and grief of this moment is unbearable. People deserve to be seen. People deserve to be heard. People deserve to be safe,” said Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan. “While many Minnesotans are taking extensive safety precautions while exercising their right to protest, the demonstration last night became incredibly unsafe for all involved. The purpose of the National Guard is to protect people, to protect people safely demonstrating, and to protect small business owners.”
“As Governor, I will always defend the right to protest,” Governor Walz continued. “It is how we express pain, process tragedy, and create change. That is why I am answering our local leaders’ request for Minnesota National Guard assistance to protect peaceful demonstrators, neighbors, and small businesses in Minnesota.”
The National Guard Adjutant General will work with local government agencies to provide personnel, equipment, and facilities needed to respond to and recover from this emergency.
Additionally, the Minnesota State Patrol will assist in public safety efforts for the next several days. Approximately 200 troopers will work with state, county, and local community and public safety partners. State Patrol helicopters and fixed wind aircraft will also be available to assist law enforcement officers on the ground.
This Executive Order also declares a peacetime emergency, which activates the State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) to help coordinate the state’s response. As the SEOC is already activated due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it will concurrently support the COVID-19 response and the City of Minneapolis and surrounding communities during this situation.
On May 27, 2020, George Floyd died while in custody of the Minneapolis Police Department. The Walz-Flanagan Administration is committed to addressing the systemic inequities and discrimination that led to this incident and seeking justice.