Gov. Tim Walz signed an executive order on Thursday to activate the Minnesota National Guard, in light of protests and looting in the wake of the killing of George Floyd in police custody. Looting has erupted at various locations in St. Paul and Minneapolis.

Walz’s office said in a statement Thursday: “Local leaders have requested National Guard resources after extensive damage to private property occurred and peaceful protests evolved into a dangerous situation for protesters and first responders.”

Walz’s statement continued, “It is time to rebuild. Rebuild the city, rebuild our justice system, and rebuild the relationship between law enforcement and those they’re charged to protect. George Floyd’s death should lead to justice and systemic change, not more death and destruction. As George Floyd’s family has said, ‘Floyd would not want people to get hurt. He lived his life protecting people.’ Let’s come together to rebuild, remember, and seek justice for George Floyd.”

The National Guard will work with local government agencies to provide personnel, equipment and facilities. About 200 Minnesota State Patrol troopers will also be assisting for the next several days.

Minnesota governor activates National Guard following protests and looting in response to death of George Floyd