St. Paul, MN (KROC-AM News) - Governor Tim Walz is describing an incident Wednesday at the St. Paul Labor Center where dozens of Minnesota National Guard members were harassed into leaving the facility as "unacceptable."
According to the Pioneer Press, around 50 soldiers in uniform were stationed at the Labor Center and arrived in armored vehicles on Tuesday. On Wednesday, the newspaper reported a group of labor advocates confronted the guard members, who shouted a number of chants that made it clear the soldiers were not welcome.
Governor Walz later used Twitter to express his displeasure over the incident.
Republican House Minority Leader Kurt Daudt says the treatment of the guard members is disgraceful. He called on the union leaders involved to apologize and resign.
The soldiers involved in the incident are among the hundreds of guard members who have been called to active duty to help keep the peace and provide security during and after the Derek Chauvin trial and the aftermath of the fatal police shooting that occurred last weekend in Brooklyn Center.
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It was late afternoon on Memorial Day, 2020 and many Minnesotans had observed the normally active weekend hunkered down because of the growing pandemic.
George Floyd drove to a grocery store in Minneapolis and bought some cigarettes. He was accused by employees of making the purchase with a counterfeit $20 bill and police were called. Floyd was still there in his vehicle when two officers arrived. About 10 minutes later, Chauvin and another officer showed up and the situation began to escalate. Chauvin began kneeling on Floyd's neck as he was facedown on the street. Despite repeated pleas from Floyd and a growing crowd of bystanders to remove his knee, Chauvin continued as if frozen in position with no facial expression.
After more than 8 minutes, Chauvin finally stood up and Floyd had become unresponsive. An ambulance was called and a short while later, it was reported Floyd was dead.
A video of the incident slowly spread on social media around the state, the country and the world. Viewers literally watched a man slowly die, repeating "I can't breathe."
The now historic response began the following day.