JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (KFTK/AP) — Missouri will send 300 National Guard troops to Washington, D.C. amid sometimes violent protests in the nation’s capital.
It was announced during Thursday's press conference from Gov. Mike Paron's office. Brig. Gen. Levon Cumpton says the guard was deploying that day.
"This civil unrest mission is one of the most challenging missions we do," Cumpton says. "Our priority is the safety and well-being of Missouri citizens because we have a vested interest in our communities."
In Missouri, there are 1,000 members mobilized across the state and are working with local authorities to ensure safety and protect critical infrastructure.
Cumpton says when you see a guardsman, know they care about you, they care about each other and care about collective freedom to demonstrate peacefully.
A Missouri National Guard spokeswoman says the troops are heading out in response to a request for help from the D.C. National Guard.
The National Guard is in Washington supporting local law enforcement. Protests there have been violent at times. The protests are in response to the death in Minnesota of a black man, George Floyd, who died after a white police officer pressed his knee to Floyd’s neck for several minutes.
In other states, Indiana has sent about 300 National Guard troops to D.C., Tennessee has sent about 1,000 and South Carolina has sent more than 400.