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George Floyd Live Updates: Officials Brace for Fifth Night of Protest


Minnesota’s governor declined the Army’s offer to deploy military police units, saying he would rely on the National Guard.
Gov. Tim Walz of Minnesota activated thousands of additional National Guard troops to send to Minneapolis but declined the Army’s offer to deploy military police units, as days of protests over the death of George Floyd, a black man who died in police custody, threatened to boil over even further on Saturday.
Mr. Walz, a Democrat, acknowledged that officials had underestimated the demonstrations in Minneapolis, where despite a newly issued curfew, people burned buildings and turned the city’s streets into a smoldering battleground on Friday night. He compared the havoc to wars that Americans have fought overseas, and said he expected even more unrest on Saturday night.
“What you’ve seen in previous nights, I think, will be dwarfed by what they will do tonight,” he said.
Pentagon officials said that Defense Secretary Mark Esper and General Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, spoke Friday with Mr. Walz, to express “willingness” to deploy military police units. The governor declined the offer, the officials said, and has since activated all of the state’s national guard troops, up to 13,200.
Nonetheless, the U. S. Northern Command has put several military police units on four-hour status, which means they could be ready to deploy in four hours, as opposed to a day.
State and federal officials have increasingly condemned the protests in Minneapolis and elsewhere, which have at times been peaceful and other times marked by fires, looting and vandalism.
Commissioner John Harrington of the Minnesota Department of Public Safety said that there had been “tens of thousands” of people in the streets on Friday, more than any other night since Mr. Floyd’s death on Monday set off a wave of protests that have become increasingly destructive across the country.
Minnesota officials said it appeared that some of the more violent protesters were from out of the state, and Attorney General William P. Barr on Saturday denounced radical “agitators” who he said had their own personal agendas. Mayor Jacob Frey of Minneapolis, looking weary after four days of outrage in his city, pleaded with residents to go home and stop burning down the local businesses that he said were even more vital in the middle of a pandemic.
“You’re not getting back at the police officer that tragically killed George Floyd by looting a town,” Mr. Frey said. “You’re not getting back at anybody.”
President Trump on Saturday criticized the authorities in Minnesota for allowing protests to turn violent, and offered the help of the military to contain further protests over the death of George Floyd, which escalated this week with the burning of a police station and other buildings in Minneapolis.
“They have to get tougher, and by being tougher they will be honoring his memory,” Mr. Trump said on the South Lawn of the White House, adding: “When I saw the policemen running out of a police station for that police station to be abandoned and taken over, I’ve never seen anything so horrible and stupid in my life.”
“We have our military ready, willing and able if they ever want to call our military,” he said. “We could have troops on the ground very quickly.”
His comments, paired with a series of tweets on Saturday, threatened to inflame an already tense situation that has played out in protests across the country and in front of the White House.
In one tweet, he called demonstrators who gathered at the White House on Friday night “professionally managed so-called ‘protesters’” and suggested that his supporters would march outside the White House on Saturday.
“Tonight, I understand, is MAGA NIGHT AT THE WHITE HOUSE???” he tweeted.

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