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Minnesota National Guard Activated as Outrage Swirls After New Officer-Involved Shooting, Floyd Trials

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Correction, February 7, 2022: After this article was published The Western Journal received the following message from Minnesota National Guard’s Director of Operations Army Col. Scott Rohweder. “The Minnesota National Guard is prepared to provide assistance if necessary as a supporting agency to the federal civil rights trial of former Minneapolis Police Department officers at the request of the City of Saint Paul and with the authorization of the Governor. The Minnesota National Guard has units that are trained and have been identified to be a reaction force in the event they are needed to protect lives, preserve property, and ensure people’s rights to protest peacefully. The Minnesota National Guard has not alerted or activated Soldiers for reaction force duties at this time.” The Minnesota National Guard was not activated, but they were authorized “to make preparations to assist local law enforcement agencies as needed” by Gov. Tim Walz.

The Minnesota National Guard is being made available for the streets of the Twin Cities following a controversial officer-involved shooting last week.

The Guard will be available to provide safety in St. Paul and Minneapolis upon request of local officials, WCCO-TV in Minneapolis reported.

“Out of an abundance of caution for the safety of Minnesotans, and at the request of the City of Saint Paul, I have authorized the Minnesota National Guard to make preparations to assist local law enforcement agencies as needed,” Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz said, according to KMSP-TV.

“The National Guard will be available to help keep the peace, ensure public safety, and allow for peaceful demonstrations,” he said.

Minneapolis and St. Paul were already on edge due to the ongoing trial — at the federal courthouse in St. Paul — of three former Minneapolis police officers connected with the death of George Floyd in May 2020 when a new officer-involved shooting took place Wednesday.

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Officer Mark Hanneman shot Amir Rahkare Locke Wednesday morning in an apartment, according to WCCO-TV.

Police have released bodycam video of the shooting, which shows officers entering the apartment before encountering a person wrapped in a blanket.

WARNING: The following video contains graphic violence that could disturb some viewers.

Locke, who had been sleeping, picked up a gun and was holding it as police entered in a welter of voices issuing commands.

Interim Police Chief Amelia Huffman said Hanneman had little time to make a decision when he saw the gun.

Huffman said Hanneman had “to assess the circumstances to determine whether he felt like there was an articulable threat and whether the threat was of great bodily harm or death, and that he needed to take action right then to protect himself and his partners.”

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Locke was licensed to carry the gun, his family said.

“Of course, he had his gun by his side, because where else is he going to put it? He was sleeping at somebody else’s house,” Linda Tyler, his aunt, said, according to KSTP-TV in St. Paul.

Police had entered the apartment to assist the St. Paul Police Department, which was seeking a homicide suspect.

Explanations from officials did little to calm the anger over the shooting.

“I want the police officer that murdered my son to be prosecuted and fired,” said Karen Wells, Locke’s mother, said, according to KSTP.

Protests began on Friday.

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As the new shooting roils the city, the trial of former officers  J. Alexander Kueng, Tou Thao, and Thomas Lane was on hold because one of the former officers has tested positive for COVID-19, according to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.

The trial had gone on for seven days prior to the delay.

All three former officers are charged with failing to provide medical aid to George Floyd. Thao and Kueng are charged with failing to intervene to protect Floyd, the Star-Tribune reported.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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