Gov. Charlie Baker has made 1,000 Massachusetts National Guard members available to communities across the state in the wake of the Derek Chauvin guilty verdict.
A jury found Chauvin, a former Minneapolis police officer, guilty on Tuesday of second-degree murder after he knelt on the neck of George Floyd, a Black man, for over nine minutes last May — an event that sparked global protests and calls for police reform. Chauvin was found guilty of second-degree murder while committing a felony, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.
Officials with the Massachusetts Executive Office of Public Safety and Security said they are coordinating with local and state law enforcement to make personnel available in an effort to “preserve public safety and protect the rights of all residents in the event of sizable gatherings” following the verdict.
Baker signed an order making the National Guardsmen available to local officials who may need assistance.
“As we do for all potential large-scale gatherings in the Commonwealth, the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security has been working with our local, state, and federal partners to ensure public safety personnel can be on hand if the need arises,” Thomas Turco, EOPSS’s Secretary, said, in a statement. “These are standard precautionary measures to protect the rights and safety of all residents, and there is no indication of any public safety risk in Massachusetts.”
“We are coordinating with our partner agencies on a multi-layered, scalable plan to protect people’s safety, property, and rights of assembly and free speech,” Massachusetts State Police Colonel Christopher Mason said, in a statement.
Mason said the state police will operate increased staffing levels in case more troopers are needed to ensure safety on state roadways and property, or to help other police departments.
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