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St. Paul, MN (KROC-AM News)  - The National Guard has decided to accelerate the activation of additional personnel in response to the unrest that occurred in Brooklyn Center yesterday and overnight.

Just over 500 members of the National Guard are currently on active duty to support what state and local officials have named "Operation Safety Net" in the Twin Cities. According to Twitter posts by the Minnesota National Guard, plans were already in place to ramp up the deployment for the mission in the coming days as the testimony portion of the Derek Chauvin trial begins to wind down.

The National Guard members have had a high profile at the Hennepin County Courthouse in Minneapolis since before the start of the Derek Chauvin trial. They have also taken on a significant role in supporting law enforcement in providing security at the State Capitol complex in St. Paul.

The initial call-up involved about 100 National Guard soldiers just before the trial began and within several days that had grown to around 200. Several hundred additional activations have taken place since then and National Guard officials have said there is a potential for thousands of Guardmembers to be activated, depending on the response to the outcome of the trial.

Opening Arguments Begin In Derek Chauvin Trial Over Death Of George Floyd
(Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

News Update:  Large Crowd Confronts Brooklyn Center Police After Shooting Death

Timeline: George Floyd's Death, Protests, Riots, Arrests, Chauvin Trial

It was late afternoon on Memorial Day, 2020 and many Minnesotans had observed the normally active weekend hunkered down because of the growing pandemic.

George Floyd drove to a grocery store in Minneapolis and bought some cigarettes. He was accused by employees of making the purchase with a counterfeit $20 bill and police were called. Floyd was still there in his vehicle when two officers arrived. About 10 minutes later, Chauvin and another officer showed up and the situation began to escalate. Chauvin began kneeling on Floyd's neck as he was facedown on the street. Despite repeated pleas from Floyd and a growing crowd of bystanders to remove his knee, Chauvin continued as if frozen in position with no facial expression. 

After more than 8 minutes, Chauvin finally stood up and Floyd had become unresponsive. An ambulance was called and a short while later, it was reported Floyd was dead.

A video of the incident slowly spread on social media around the state, the country and the world. Viewers literally watched a man slowly die, repeating "I can't breathe." 

The now historic response began the following day.


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