In Minnesota, tensions over the trial of Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer accused of killing George Floyd, were exacerbated last week when another unarmed black man, 20-year-old Daunte Wright, was killed by police less than 20 km from the courthouse where Chauvin is being tried.
Over 3,000 Minnesota National Guard personnel have been activated to help maintain order as federal, state and local law enforcement braces for violence as America awaits the jury’s verdict in the Chauvin trial after the defence made its closing arguments on Monday, the state’s government has confirmed.
The beefing up of active National Guard forces comes amid growing fears of violence between law enforcement and protesters. On Sunday morning, two Guard members were injured in Minneapolis in a drive-by shooting during a routine security patrol. One Guardsman was transferred to hospital for treatment of injuries sustained from shattered glass. The other was treated at the scene.
The Guard deployment falls under the auspices of ‘Operational Safety Net’, a joint effort by the Minneapolis Police Department, the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office, the state of Minnesota and local representatives to ensure order and “bridge gaps between law enforcement and the community.”
Guard units are deployed in the Twin Cities area and across the state, particularly downtown areas and at the foot of federal and state government…