Mississippi sends Guard troops to Washington amid unrest
Published 9:08 am Thursday, June 4, 2020
(AP) — About 400 members of the Mississippi National Guard have been deployed to Washington, D.C., amid mass protests over the killing of an African American man in police custody in Minneapolis.
Republican Gov. Tate Reeves said Wednesday that Mississippi was one of about eight or nine states to send troops to the nation’s capital “at the request of our federal partners.”
He said the Guard members were sent to protect people who are protesting peacefully and to help ensure “that those who are not peacefully protesting, those who are going across that line and rioting, are dealt with.”
Peaceful protests decrying police violence against African Americans have been held in Jackson, Oxford, Biloxi and other Mississippi cities in recent days, and more protests have been announced for Friday and Saturday.
Reeves has said this week that he respects people’s right to peacefully protest. He also said the state would be prepared to respond swiftly to any violence or destruction of property.
“Mississippians do not want to tear down our state,” Reeves said Wednesday. “They want to protest. They want to be clear. They want to be heard. They want a voice. But they do not want violence.”