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Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz declares 'peacetime emergency' in parts of state

"The anticipated verdict in the Chauvin trial and the fatal police shooting of Daunte Wright have raised the potential of further civil unrest in the seven-county metropolitan area of Anoka, Carver, Dakota, Hennepin, Ramsey, Scott, and Washington counties," the governor's executive order states.

Updated: April 20, 2021 - 4:16pm

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz has declared a peacetime emergency in parts of the state in connection with the potential for civil unrest.

Law enforcement has already had to devote resources to the Brooklyn Center area in the wake of the fatal police shooting of Daunte Wright, and other areas could experience civil unrest after the jury delivers a verdict in the trial of former police officer Derek Chauvin in connection with the death of George Floyd last year.

"The anticipated verdict in the Chauvin trial and the fatal police shooting of Daunte Wright have raised the potential of further civil unrest in the seven-county metropolitan area of Anoka, Carver, Dakota, Hennepin, Ramsey, Scott, and Washington counties," the governor's executive order states. "Since April 11, 2021, when Daunte Wright died after being shot by a police officer, many Minnesotans have expressed their frustrations in a peaceful and constructive manner. However, some individuals have engaged in unlawful and dangerous activity, including looting and damaging public and private property. These activities threaten the safety of lawful demonstrators, people in the surrounding communities, and first responders. As such, local and state resources have been reallocated to assist in the unrest in Brooklyn Center and nearby communities. This reallocation has drawn resources away from the cities of Minneapolis and Saint Paul, and nearby communities, where there is a threat of civil unrest."

The Minnesota National Guard was activated by the governor earlier this year and is available to contend with any civil unrest. The executive order notes that "the National Guard is currently on state active duty and authorized to respond to civil unrest. The National Guard can supplement local law enforcement efforts to keep the peace, ensure public safety, and allow for peaceful demonstrations."

Law enforcement officials have asked that Minnesota seek assistance from other states and the peacetime emergency declaration will permit Minnesota to receive such assistance:

"Local and state resources have been fully deployed, but they are inadequate to address the threat. Recent events in Brooklyn Center have exhausted Minnesota's local and state resources and are likely to hamper our ability to provide public safety and protect critical infrastructure and key resources in the seven-county metro area in the coming week. For these reasons, the Chiefs of Police in the cities of Minneapolis and Saint Paul and the Sheriffs of Dakota, Hennepin, and Ramsey counties have all requested that the State seek assistance from other states pursuant to the Emergency Management Assistance Compact (“EMAC”). This peacetime emergency declaration allows the State to receive EMAC assistance from other states.

"For these reasons, and to protect peace and safety, I declare a peacetime emergency in the seven-county metropolitan area of Anoka, Carver, Dakota, Hennepin, Ramsey, Scott, and Washington counties and order state agencies, in cooperation with appropriate federal agencies and other states, to assist local units of government as they respond to and recover from this emergency," the order which was signed on Monday declares.

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