Over 5,000 Minnesota National Guard soldiers and airmen deployed in Twin Cities

UPDATE 5:30 a.m.

After a night where law enforcement restored some order to the Twin Cities, the Minnesota National Guard tweeted a picture of some soldiers.

The picture showed a couple dozen guardsmen sleeping with the caption, "It’s been a long night for Citizen-Soldiers and Airmen."

The National Guard said Sunday morning that more than 5,025 soldiers and airmen are activated with plans to continue activation in the coming days.

It called Saturday night’s successful operation an organized show of force and said 19 missions were completed to support local authorities and keep the community safe and secure.

UPDATE 12:30 a.m.

The Minnesota National Guard says it is in a "positions of strength" greater than previous nights in the Twin Cities as it responds to protests in response to the death of George Floyd.

During a press conference Saturday night, Maj. Gen Jon Jensen said, "We are fully-integrated and unified with law enforcement, fire, Emergency Management Systems, and all state agencies to ensure the safety of our citizens. We know there is a long way to go tonight and we are prepared for that."

UPDATE 9:59 p.m.

The Minnesota National Guard is reporting that more than 4,100 citizen-soldiers have been deployed in the Twin Cities as protests and unrest continue following the death of George Floyd.

The Guard says it is quickly moving toward having 10,800 airmen and soldiers deployed.

Following the deployment, President Donald Trump tweeted, saying,"The National Guard has been released in Minneapolis to do the job that the Democrat Mayor couldn’t do. Should have been used 2 days ago & there would not have been damage & Police Headquarters would not have been taken over & ruined. Great job by the National Guard. No games!"

Minnesota state officials and leaders are creating plans Saturday to stop unrest and riots in the Twin Cities.

Gov. Tim Walz has signed an executive order for a citywide curfew starting at 8 p.m. Saturday until 6 a.m. Sunday.

During the curfew, nobody is allowed to travel on Minneapolis or St. Paul streets or public places, except for first responders, members of the media, people going back and forth to work, individuals seeking emergency care or fleeing danger, and people experiencing homelessness.

"We need your help in complying with the curfew," Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison said during a midday news conference Saturday. "That’s what we’re asking for. There are people who are trying to tarnish the reputation of noble protesting."

In a thread of tweets, Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey said he wants people to stay inside and that breaking the curfew will be helping "the people using the crowds as cover to prey on Minneapolis and destroy community."

Saturday morning, Walz announced that he has called for the full mobilization of the Minnesota National Guard.

KSTP reporter Tom Hauser was able to get a video of Minnesota National Guard Convoy entering Minneapolis.

Hauser states that the entrance of the National Guard is a "part of a historic, full mobilization of up to 13,000 MN National Guard troops."

The National Guard also addressed a rumor, saying it does not plan to disrupt cellphone service Saturday night.

The Minnesota Department of Public Safety said metro area hospitals reporting security concerns will receive extra help.

The city of Minneapolis issued the following safety tips and considerations:

  • Be aware of suspicious activities/groups
  • Be aware of large gatherings
  • Call 911 if you are witnessing suspicious activity
  • Remove anything from your lawn that could be flammable or a projectile through a window
  • Store dumpsters in your garage or move to hidden area in back yard. Consider wetting down the inside contents if they have to be left outside in view
  • Keep lights on and some windows open to hear noises that may be approaching. (Use caution with windows that may be easily accessed from the ground)
  • Have an escape plan and a to-go bag (remember to take along any medicines you may need)
  • If you need to be outside wear a headlamp, bright colors and reflective clothing
  • Charge cell phones. Cell towers might go out
  • Have alternative ways to communicate with your neighbors and help them to make a plan
  • Have garden hoses ready and untangled for possible use
  • Check your flood lights, door lights, keep them on
  • Soak down wood fences and surfaces
  • If you have a Little Library, empty it
  • If you have a fire extinguisher, get it ready
  • Check on each other, especially older neighbors, and the vulnerable