A fire is started outside the Metro Courthouse in Nashville, Tennessee, on Saturday, May 30, 2020, after the “I Will Breathe” rally to protest the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who died after being pinned down by a white Minneapolis police officer on Memorial Day. Police identified the man shown as Wesley Somers, 25, and charged him with arson on Sunday.
Governors in nearly a dozen states plus the District of Columbia have now activated the National Guard amid protests and riots that have broken out in response to George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis police custody earlier this week.
States calling for Guard asistance were California, Georgia, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, Ohio, Tennessee, Texas, Utah and Washington state.
The US military is monitoring protests in at least seven states, according to Defense Department documents obtained exclusively by The Nation.
In addition to Minnesota, where a Minneapolis police officer killed George Floyd, the military is tracking uprisings in New York, Ohio, Colorado, Arizona, Tennessee, and Kentucky, according to a Defense Department situation report. Notably, only Minnesota has requested National Guard support.
The moves to reopen follow in the steps of Georgia, Oklahoma, and Alaska, which on Friday began loosening lockdown restrictions on businesses despite health officials warning the gradual return to daily life might be happening too soon.
In Tennessee, Gov. Bill Lee (R ) said on Monday that “the vast majority of businesses” will be allowed to reopen when the state’s stay-at-home order expires on April 30, and as of Friday state parks and dine-in restaurants were allowed to open with reduced capacity. Tennessee was one of the last states to issue a stay-at-home order.
Protests occurred in Colorado, Illinois, Florida, Tennessee and Washington.