The jury stands ready to ponder Derek Chauvin's fate. Are we ready for the outcome?
The folks in Washington are getting ready for another assault. National Guard troops have been called out
, and are likely already manning the barricades that were never removed after the failed coup.
Leaders in the nation's capital are bracing for more demonstrations as the jury began deliberating Monday night in the trial of a former Minneapolis police officer charged with the murder of George Floyd.
The National Guard in Washington got a request from the city for 250 personnel who can support local law enforcement. The Guard members will be unarmed and will assist police with street closures at multiple intersections to help keep pedestrians safe, said Capt. Chelsi Johnson, a D.C. National Guard spokeswoman.
All 250 of the Guard members will be from the D.C. area, she added, and will come from a mix of military occupational specialties.
Acting Army Secretary John Whitley reviewed and approved the request.
"Supporting the Metropolitan Police Department is a part of the portfolio of the D.C. National Guard, and our team is uniquely qualified to conduct this mission," the D.C. National Guard said in a statement to Military.com. "The D.C. National Guard remains strong with soldiers and airmen available to execute its requested missions."
But you'll note it's only a minimal number. 250 troops, albeit armed with assault rifles and probably a few armoured vehicles around, would probably still have a hard time defending the Capitol from a determined crowd of white supremacists. Closer to ground zero, though - there's far more action happening.
The two Minnesota National Guard members who were fired upon in a drive-by shooting Sunday morning have returned to duty, a Guard spokesman said.
The Guardsmen suffered minor injuries when someone in a light-colored SUV fired several shots, according to a Sunday statement from the Minnesota National Guard. The two service members sustained minor injuries. One was injured by shattered glass and treated at a local hospital; the other "received only superficial injuries."
"I am relieved to know none of our Guardsmen were seriously injured," Maj. Gen. Shawn Manke, the Minnesota National Guard adjutant general, said in a statement. "This event highlights the volatility and tension in our communities right now. I ask for peace as we work through this difficult time."
Approximately 3,000 Minnesota Guard troops have deployed to the Minneapolis area amid days of protests. Police have used chemical irritants and pepper balls against protesters, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Law enforcement has also been seen assaulting, detaining and photographing journalists, the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder reported.
The military's mission in Minnesota comes after more than a year of virtually non-stop domestic missions for the National Guard, including coronavirus relief, securing Capitol Hill, combating wildfires and responding to hurricanes. This, on top of missions abroad, has marked one of the busiest times in the National Guard's history.
No matter what the outcome, the rest of the nation had best be prepared for national violence. I don't see any way out of this.
Not Guilty? Well of course there will be hellacious riots from angry people across the board who once again are denied justice - and there will only be more killings, as a jury will have decided that police murdering black men in front of witnesses is OK.
Guilty? Well of course there will be hellacious riots from angry white people....because a jury will have decided that a black man's life is worth the same as theirs, and they can no longer kill people based on race without repercussions.
There are many millions of people across the country that are likely indifferent to this, too. I suppose that's the beauty of these United States in that people like that can exist.
But too much is at stake for indifference. It's unlikely that any of "the enemy" will ever read this column, but especially for our readers closer to likely flashpoints of violence - are you ready for whatever happens next?