Governor Tim Walz activated the Minnesota National Guard to assist state and local law enforcement in public safety efforts in Saint Paul over the coming days. The Governor’s action follows the violent siege and insurrection at the United States Capitol last week that resulted in the deaths of five people, destruction of federal property, and a threat to national security.
There have been national reports of possible armed protests at state capitol buildings of all 50 states.
“We will always support Minnesotans’ First Amendment rights to peacefully protest, but anyone involved in violent, illegal activity will be held accountable,” said Walz.
According to the Governor, the Minnesota National Guard will work in coordination with other state resources, including the Minnesota State Patrol and Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Conservation Officers, as well as local law enforcement. In addition to the fence around the Minnesota Capitol that has been in place since last summer, the State Patrol has increased its presence to respond to various threats and prevent unlawful entry into the building and has continued to enhance readiness through training, equipment, and personnel.
The Governor’s announcement was made in the wake of the historical second impeachment of the sitting president, Donald J. Trump.