Walz, others provide update Sunday morning about reponse to protests

Sunday morning, Governor Tim Walz said there was no loss of life and minimal property damage from overnight. Sunday morning, Governor Tim Walz said there was no loss of life and minimal property damage from overnight. | 

Updated: May 31, 2020 02:00 PM

After nights of unrest in Minneapolis, it appears the National Guard's increased presence and a different team approach from law enforcement to restoring order made a difference in what happened on the streets.

Governor Tim Walz thanked all Minnesotans who came together, to execute the most complex public safety operation in state's history.

"They did do in a profesional manner. They did so without a single loss of life and minimal property damage. I'm grateful for those folks out there." Still, he acknowledged that the deeper problems remain. "It simply gets us back to a place where we were before, and that place is not good enough."

Walz also apologize to journalists who were arrested, saying that is unacceptable.

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey said, "Last night the overarching mission was the preservation of life, preservation of property, and restoration of order."

The Mayor of St. Paul, Melvin Carter, was up next. "Right now is a moment of deep soul searching. We should be focused on the fact that George Floyd should be alive today," he shared.

John Harrington, the Commissioner of Public Safety, said they took a different approach to keep the peace. "We created a different organizational model. We briefed that model and set out fast moving teams throughout the Twin Cities area, to targets that we knew were of high value and  high probability of attack."

He added, "We did use the curfew effectively. We did not allow the rioters to get set up. We kept the rioters moving."

They were able to get some help from fire departments from the suburbs. "We didn't need very many of them. We were fortunate."

Harrington said, "One officer was shot at, but was not hit. We arrested the two people in the car from which the shot was fire. We recovered an AR-15 rifle in that particular case."

He estimates there were around 100 arrests overnight. Some have come from places like Arkansas, Michigan, Iowa, and Illinois.

Major General Jon Jensen, Adjutant General for the Minnesota National Guard, said they completed 19 missions overnight. He went and visited with some of the deployed on Sunday. "I'm impressed and inspired by these men and women. Who in just a few short hours, left their lives as civilians, school teachers, busines owners, mechanics, truck drivers, and in a very short period, transitioned into the role of citizen soldier, citizen airmen. And operated with professionalism and dedication in an incredibly dangerous and complex environment," Jensen said.

As of this morning more than 5,025 soldiers and sirmen in the Minnesota National Guard are activated and with plans to continue activation in the coming days.

"It was a dangerous night," Colonel Matt Langer said from the Minnesota State Patrol. "But we didn't see the lawlessness."

Walz said the curfew has been extended and so have the highway closures. "We can't stay like this forever. But we can't let our streets go into chaos. So we're asking people to do the same thing tonight. Stay home after 8pm."


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