A check-cashing business burns during protests in Minneapolis on Friday. 
A check-cashing business burns during protests in Minneapolis on Friday.  John Minchillo/AP

About 50 people have been arrested as protests continue across Minneapolis.

More than 2,500 officers are helping to keep the peace, Minnesota Department of Public Safety Commissioner John Harrington told a news conference.

This is one of the largest civil police forces the state of Minnesota has ever seen, he said. But resources are still stretched thin, with thousands of protesters estimated to have turned out across the city. 

“We recognized that we simply did not, even with the numbers that I’m talking about, have enough officers and personnel to meet all of those missions safely and successfully. We picked missions based on our capacity,” Harrington said.

Officers focused their efforts on downtown and the 5th Precinct area, he said.

A request has been made to substantially increase the number of National Guard officers available to bolster the city’s response, Harrington said. 

Major General Jon Jensen, of the Minnesota National Guard, said he believed there could be more than 1,700 National Guard soldiers in the area by Sunday.

This would be the largest deployment in the state of Minnesota’s history.

“At the conclusion of tomorrow, I believe that we will have over 1,700 soldiers in support of the Department of Public Safety in the city of Minneapolis and the city of Saint Paul,” Jensen said.  

Jensen noted that people may have heard that President Donald Trump directed the Pentagon to put units of the United States Army on alert for a possible operation in Minneapolis. 

“While we were not consulted with as it relates to that, I do believe is a prudent move to provide other options available for the governor, if the governor elects to use those resources,” Jensen said. 



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