Governor Tim Walz signed an executive order May 28 at 4 p.m., activating the Minnesota National Guard to provide safety and protection to the people of Minneapolis, St. Paul, and the surrounding communities, according to a press release from the National Guard.
"Our troops are trained to protect life, preserve property and ensure people's right to peacefully demonstrate," said Maj. Gen. Jon Jensen, Minnesota National Guard Adjutant General.
The action occurred just hours before multiple fires were started near and in the Third Precinct police station in south Minneapolis. Looting and fires erupted under the cloak of nightfall throughout Minneapolis and St. Paul while an apparent lack of law enforcement allowed much of the activity to continue well into the early hours of Friday.
Overnight, soldiers supported multiple missions with Minneapolis Fire Station Six, provided security around the St. Paul Capitol complex, and assisted the State Patrol with civil disturbance support.
Soldiers and Airmen of the 34th Military Police Company in Stillwater, 257th Military Police Company in Monticello, 1-151st Field Artillery Battalion headquartered in Montevideo, 147th Human Resources Company in Brooklyn Park, 224th Transportation Company in Faribault, and 133rd Airlift Wing were directed to immediately report for State Active Duty in-processing and information briefings," said Task Force Commander Lt. Col. Troy Fink. The in-processing of soldiers and airmen onto State Active Duty continued throughout the night, with nearly 500 soldiers and airmen in position to support rotating missions by morning.
The National Guard will provide support to civil authorities as long as directed in order to ensure the safety of people and property, according to the press release.