Fifty people have been arrested as protests continue across Minneapolis.
More than 2,500 peacekeepers are helping to keep the peace, Minnesota Department of Public Safety commissioner John Harrington said at a press conference.
It is one of the largest civilian police forces ever seen by the state of Minnesota, he said. But resources are still limited, with thousands of protesters reportedly moving across the city.
“We recognized that we simply did not have enough officers and personnel, even with the figures I am talking about, to carry out all of these missions safely and successfully. We chose missions based on our capabilities, ”said Harrington.
The officers concentrated their efforts on downtown and the 5th district, he said.
A request has been made to significantly increase the number of National Guard officers available to strengthen the city’s response, said Harrington.
Maj. Gen. Jon Jensen of the Minnesota National Guard said he thought there could be more than 1,700 National Guard soldiers in the area by Sunday.
It would be the largest deployment in Minnesota history.
“By the end of tomorrow, I believe we will have more than 1,700 soldiers in support of the Department of Public Safety in the city of Minneapolis and the city of Saint Paul,” said Jensen.
Jensen noted that people may have heard that President Donald Trump had ordered the Pentagon to alert US military units for a possible operation in Minneapolis.
“Although we have not been consulted on this matter, I think it is prudent to propose other options to the governor, if the governor chooses to use these resources,” said Jensen.