Michigan National Guard to support Grand Rapids’ peace, clean-up efforts following violent protests

Guard members to assist civil authorities in Grand Rapids, Lansing if needed amid statewide unrest

Police stands guard as Austin Fire Department put out a car fire under Interstate 35 freeway in Austin Texas, Saturday, May 30, 2020 during a protest over the death of George Floyd, a handcuffed black man who died in Minneapolis police custody on May 25. (Ricardo B. Brazziell/Austin American-Statesman via AP) (AUSTIN AMERICAN-STATESMAN)

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The Michigan National Guard was activated Sunday at the request of Grand Rapids Mayor Rosalynn Bliss to support the city after protests turned violent Saturday night.

Protestors moved through Grand Rapids later Saturday night and into Sunday morning, setting fires, smashing windows and looting after a day of peaceful protests.

READ: Grand Rapids clean-up underway after night of fiery protests

Officials say guard members will support civil authorities to maintain peace and repair property damage in Grand Rapids.

“Protecting the health and safety of Michiganders continues to be my number one priority,” said Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer. “The Michigan National Guard is already assisting with humanitarian efforts in communities across the state. Guard members will remain nimble and ready to ensure peace and the safety of people and property during these unprecedented times.”

Soldiers are also prepared to provide support in Lansing, if that becomes necessary.

“The Lansing Police Department and other area law enforcement continue to actively monitor demonstrations downtown and at the Capitol,” said Lansing Mayor Andy Schor. “We welcome the Michigan National Guard as an additional partner to increase our public safety preparedness as issues evolve. They are a great force multiplier to protect Lansing residents and area businesses this evening.”

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More than 1,200 guard members have been deployed throughout Michigan since March to assist with coronavirus (COVID-19) and the mid-Michigan flooding response efforts.

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