WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWNY) - Military police from Fort Drum have been told to be ready to deploy to Minneapolis, where the police killing of George Floyd sparked widespread protests.
That’s according to a report from the Associated Press.
The A.P. reports “Soldiers from Fort Bragg in North Carolina and Fort Drum in New York have been ordered to be ready to deploy within four hours if called, according to three people with direct knowledge of the orders.”
“As a prudent planning measure, the department has directed U.S. Northern Command to increase the alert status of several units should they be requested by the Governor to support Minnesota authorities,” a Pentagon spokesman told 7 News.
"These are units that normally maintain a 48-hour recall to support state civil authorities for several contingencies (like natural disasters) and are now on 4-hour status.”
The call up comes after a night of violent protests across the country, as unrest spread across dozens of American cities.
Protesters burned businesses in Minneapolis. They smashed police cars and windows in Atlanta, broke into police headquarters in Portland, Oregon, and chanted curses at President Donald Trump outside the White House.
Thousands also demonstrated peacefully, demanding justice for George Floyd, a black man who died after a white officer pressed a knee into his neck.
The size and anger of Friday night’s protests prompted the governor of Minnesota to say he plans to fully mobilize the state’s National Guard.
Gov. Tim Walz promised a massive show of force to help quell civil unrest, and said he also spoke with Defense Secretary Mark Esper and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark A. Milley about military assistance.
Walz blamed much of the destruction in Minneapolis Friday night on well-organized, out-of-state instigators whose goal was to “destabilize civil society.”