Under 100 National Guard soldiers currently activated amid slow start to Chauvin trial

Fences are seen around the Hennepin County Government Center on March 3, 2021. Photo: KSTP. Fences are seen around the Hennepin County Government Center on March 3, 2021.

Josh Skluzacek
Updated: March 08, 2021 10:37 PM
Created: March 08, 2021 03:07 PM

Monday marked the start of the trial of Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer charged in the death of George Floyd. However, jury selection was delayed and law enforcement noted low activity thus far.

In an afternoon update regarding Operation Safety Net (OSN), Minnesota National Guard Adjutant Gen. Shawn Manke said around 100 soldiers were currently activated to provide security in and around the Hennepin County Government Center.

Law enforcement leaders across several departments thanked those who have protested in Minneapolis for being peaceful. Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo reiterated their support for people exercising their First Amendment rights as long as they stay peaceful.

"It was a wonderful statement about how this can be done the right way ... and I hope that continues," Col. Matt Langer, head of the Minnesota State Patrol, added.

Minnesota Department of Public Safety Commissioner John Harrington noted there weren't any credible threats to the trial or Minneapolis, as of Monday afternoon.

Authorities said they remain prepared to respond to any events that become violent or need an immediate response but there was low activity Monday morning.

As of now, OSN is in phase two of four. Phase one was for preplanning, and phase two includes being ready for jury selection and the demonstrations that have begun.

Chief Arradondo said phase three will happen when, or if, there is a verdict. Then, the chief said people can expect to “visually see” law enforcement ramp up in all metro communities.

Also mentioned today by Chief Arradondo, as long as demonstrations continue to be peaceful and non-destructive, there will be no need to speed up the phases. 

Even so, their operation is still adjusting. The director for the Minneapolis FBI field office said that specialty bomb technicians will be heading to the Twin Cities this week. Their job will be to connect with the current operation and be ready to respond to suspicious, hazardous, and potentially explosive devices. 

On that note, OSN again has not identified any credible threats but urges community members to report any suspicious activity or people who are seeking to cause harm.


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