JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Governor Mike Parson will be adding 1,000 more National Guard troops to help with civil unrest across the state of Missouri. Peaceful protests after the death of George Floyd are turning violent at night. He died after a Minnesota police officer detained him. A video of the incident went viral.
“We have to change the ways of this society. It was not acceptable,” said Gov. Parson.
Gov Parson declared a state of emergency Saturday, citing civil unrest, and ordered the Missouri National Guard and Highway Patrol to be on standby to assist local authorities. The Missouri Highway Patrol was in St. Louis last night to help them with the demonstrations.
The National Guard has been deployed across the state to assist in the fight against COVID-19. They are now also helping to help stop the violence while assisting local law enforcement and the Missouri State Highway Patrol.
Bommarito Automotive SkyFOX helicopter captured images of about five vehicles rolling out from a location near the airport.
Four officers were shot in St. Louis last night. A retired police captain died working to secure a pawn shop from looters. An official from the Missouri State Highway Patrol says that others were shot at too, including a state trooper. He had a bullet lodged in his helmet and is expected to be OK. There were also 20 arrests in Kansas City.
The governor made a clear distinction between peaceful protestors and those taking advantage of the moment.
“They are criminals and need to be held accountable just like that police officer in Minnesota,” said Gov. Parson. “If you are from out of state, and coming to this state to commit crimes, then I hope they throw the book at them.”
“This is much more organized. The FBI and the state is looking into it. This is organized crime. Pallets of bricks are showing up. This is no accident. They set police cars on fire because it gets more media coverage. Their main focus is to get to the police stations to disrupt service. This is not how it was like in Ferguson,” said Gov. Parson.
“This needs to come to an end. I will use every resource that I have to stop it,” said Gov. Parson.
President Trump has been suggesting that the military should be deployed to stop the unrest. Brigadier General Levon E. Cumpton said that assistance would not be welcome.
The governor was in St. Louis today meeting with clergy, elected officials, St. Louis Police Chief Hayden, and members of the Urban League. The governor says he now has a meeting set with “young activists” and members of the Urban League in St. Louis to address their concerns.