Cities across the country are preparing for protests as a jury in the trial of the murder of former police officer Derek Chauvin. With the recall of last summer’s protests following the death of George Floyd, some states have ordered National Guard soldiers to be on standby in anticipation of major protests if one is acquitted.
Police chiefs are urging protesters to remain peaceful, and businesses in many cities from Indianapolis to Los Angeles to New York are mounted on the windows. The courtyard where the test is being carried out is surrounded by razor-wire, fences, concrete barriers and dozens of National Guard soldiers.
It is up to each governor to decide whether troops or law enforcement will be necessary to help with potential protests. So far, Illinois, Minnesota and Washington, DC, have done so.
Here’s how cities are preparing:
Minneapolis: On Monday, Gov. Tim Walz announced a “peacetime emergency” and said state troops from Nebraska and Ohio would come to Minneapolis to help enforce local and state law. Minneapolis already has 3,000 National Guard troops and 1,000 law enforcement officers, including state troopers. The force is patrolling the city and metropolitan areas.
Construction workers boarded dozens of additional buildings in the city on Tuesday morning. Local police and sheriff’s deputations patrolled the streets in squad cars near the courthouse, focusing on the shopping center. And businesses installed additional concrete barriers and fencing, making it harder to access parking lots and entrances. Some businesses have taken to spray signs of painting or posting to alert customers that they are open, even if the windows are covered. In a corner town, at least six National Guard Humes were parked along with about a dozen guards.
Washington DC: According to a news release, on May 9, the National Guard was called on Monday in connection with the protests. Last summer, The guards used teargas and a chemical bottleneck, including a helicopter, to try to evacuate Lafayette Square.Plaza in front of the White House, depicting criticism about the heavy policing of protests.
Chicago: Gov. JB Pritzker ordered state troops and 125 National Guard soldiers To help law enforcement in Chicago. Officers were already on the sidelines in Chicago, after releasing a video of an officer shooting an unarmed 13-year-old boy, Adam Toledo, on April 16. The protests so far have been peaceful. But last summer, the city feared similar violence in Minneapolis, in order to prevent protests from reaching major retailers to lift bridges in Chicago.
New York: Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo has not ordered National Guard troops to New York City. Last summer, the city’s police department, which has more than 30,000 officers, took over the protests after Mr. Floyd’s death. The first night of protests last year ended in sporadic violence and looting in Soho and Midtown.