The D.C. National Guard approved a request from the Metropolitan Police Department to activate personnel as the city prepares for potential protests surrounding the verdict in the trial of Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer charged with killing George Floyd last May.
In a statement on Monday, the D.C. National Guard announced that it is activating 250 members to support local law enforcement “in response to potential First Amendment demonstrations,” Breitbart reports.
The D.C. National Guard approved the request from the Metropolitan Police Department. They were requested to “assist police with street closures at multiple intersections in order to provide safety in and around pedestrian areas,” according to the statement.
The activation on Monday came the same day that the prosecution and defense delivered their closing arguments in the murder trial of police officer Derek Chauvin, and ahead of potential protests against the verdict.
“We are prepared to help provide a safe environment for our fellow citizens to exercise their First Amendment right,” said Brig. Gen. Aaron R. Dean II, The Adjutant General of the D.C. National Guard.
“This is our home, and we are dedicated to the safety and security of our fellow citizens of the District and their right to safely and peacefully protest,” he added.
The activation is approved to support D.C. and law enforcement “as needed” until May 9.