Minnesota governor activates national guard to respond to violence over George Floyd protests

The governor of Minnesota has activated the National Guard following a night of violent riots over the death of George Floyd while in police custody.

It comes after Minneapolis mayor Jacob Frey made the official request on Thursday following riots that left 16 structures ablaze and grocery stores and pharmacies looted across the city.

Governor Tim Walz said in a statement that it was time to rebuild the relationship between law enforcement and those they're charged to protect as he activated the Minnesota National Guard to help keep the peace.

"George Floyd's death should lead to justice and systemic change, not more death and destruction. As George Floyd's family has said, 'Floyd would not want people to get hurt. He lived his life protecting people.' Let's come together to rebuild, remember, and seek justice for George Floyd," he said.

The National Guard Adjutant General will work with local government to provide personnel, equipment and facilities to respond to the emergency.

Minnesota State Patrol, meanwhile, will also assist in efforts to maintain the peace over the next several days with about 200 troopers working alongside state, county and local law enforcement.

State Patrol helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft will also be made available to work with personnel on the ground.

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