The National Guard on Wednesday was mobilized in a bid to quell potential unrest after former officer Derek Chauvin was released from jail months after he was indicted for second-degree murder in George Floyd’s death.
The Guard was deployed after Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz approved the move and was requested by the mayor of Minneapolis, Jacob Frey. Earlier this year, rioters and looters did hundreds of millions of dollars in damages following Floyd’s death.
Officials told Fox9 that the National Guard is mobilizing 100 soldiers, the Minnesota State Patrol is deploying 100 troopers, and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has mobilized 75 conservation officers.
“Out of an abundance of caution for the safety of Minnesotans, we have asked the Minnesota National Guard to prepare to assist in keeping the peace,” Walz said.
Chauvin was released from jail after posting $1 million in bond and will now wait until March 8, 2021, for his trial.
“We are aware of current and future possible flashpoints that present challenges on both a local and national level,” Minneapolis police spokesman John Elder said in a statement. “We are, and will, continue to work with our law enforcement partners, locally, regionally and federally in order to properly respond to situations as they unfold. We continue to work with our various communities to ensure our residents’ First Amendment rights to lawfully and peacefully protest are protected while maintaining public safety for all.”
Chauvin was charged with second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and manslaughter in Floyd’s death. He was released from the Oak Park Heights jail, where he was being held since late May.
The Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office, in a notice of release (pdf) on Wednesday, said Chauvin was released after he paid a $1 million bond and is now required by law to appear in court in March 2021. A court document (pdf) showed that he paid the bond on Wednesday.
Former officers Thomas Lane, J. Alexander Kueng, and Tou Thao are all charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder.
The four officers, meanwhile, were terminated from the department following Floyd’s death and the subsequent outcry.
Chauvin’s attorney and attorneys for the other officers have argued that Floyd had contracted COVID-19, the disease caused by the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, and also had a high level of fentanyl in his system. The Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s office, days after Floyd’s death, confirmed in a report (pdf) that fentanyl intoxication contributed to Floyd’s death.
His cause of death was listed as “cardiopulmonary arrest complicating law enforcement subdual, restraint, and neck compression,” while his manner of death was listed by the office as “homicide.”