By: Staff Reporter
At the direction of governors, the National Guard has been activated in 23 states and Washington, DC today, due to the civil unrest that is happening across the country. More than 17,000 troops are helping to calm the rioting and violence and are in a supporting role to state and local law enforcement.
According to an article on Military Times:
“Guard troops have now been activated in Arizona, Alaska, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin and D.C., according to Army Master Sgt. Michael Houk, a National Guard Bureau spokesman.
“Guard personnel assigned to these missions are trained, equipped and prepared to assist law enforcement authorities and first responders, said Lengyel. “We plan, train, and prepare for emergency response missions with our local, state, and federal partners."
Peaceful protests started after the death of George Floyd on May 26th in Minneapolis, MN. Floyd allegedly tried to purchase cigarettes with a counterfeit $20 bill at a local convenience store. The clerk at the convenience store called the police to report the incident. When police arrived Floyd and his companion were still at the store. The surveillance and bystander video of Floyd’s arrest and subsequent death has been plastered across social media in the past 4 days.
Hennepin County district attorney’s office made the following statement:
“Officer Lane ordered Mr. Floyd out of the car, put his hands on Mr. Floyd, and pulled him out of the car. Officer Lane handcuffed Mr. Floyd. Mr. Floyd actively resisted being handcuffed. Once handcuffed, Mr. Floyd became compliant and walked with Officer Lane to the sidewalk and sat on the ground at Officer Lane’s direction.”
What followed can be seen documented in videos and photos across social media.
Protests started and erupted quickly to rioting, looting and violence in Minneapolis. More cities started protesting and rioting in the days that followed. Mayors and Governors across the country tried to handle the unrest locally but soon realized that the situation was out of their control and needed the assistance of the National Guard.
There was speculation that the peaceful protests were infiltrated by a group known as Antifa (known for violent protests in Seattle, WA and across the country).
President Trump took to Twitter on Sunday and declared that Antifa will be designated a terrorist organization.
Here is an excerpt from Attorney General William Barr in a statement made on Saturday.
“With the rioting that is occurring in many of our cities around the country, the voices of peaceful and legitimate protests have been hijacked by violent radical elements. Groups of outside radicals and agitators are exploiting the situation to pursue their own separate, violent, and extremist agenda.
The violence instigated and carried out by Antifa and other similar groups in connection with the rioting is domestic terrorism and will be treated accordingly.”
You can read the full statement from the Department of Justice website here.