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National Guard scales back presence in Twin Cities

National Guard scales back presence in Twin Cities
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The head of Minnesota's National Guard said Monday there will be fewer guardsmen on duty Monday now that Minneapolis and St. Paul have eased a curfew order put in place after last week's violent protests.

Adjutant General of the Minnesota National Guard Maj. Gen. Jon Jensen said "part of" the more than 7,000 troops called up will no longer be needed, but noted they could be re-mobilized if necessary. He did not specify how many soldiers would be affected.

"This is not an order to return the entire organization," he said during a press conference, saying the drawdown would take effect as early as Monday afternoon.

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The move comes after Minnesota Gov. Tim WalzTim WalzThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by the UAE Embassy in Washington, DC - Trump, Biden clash over transition holdup, pandemic plans Former Minnesota Democratic leader quits party Minnesota to close bars, restaurants, gyms for four weeks: report MORE (D) said he had signed an executive order to extend a curfew through Monday and Tuesday for Minneapolis and St. Paul that will be in effect from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m., instead of the 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew from previous nights.

Walz first ordered a curfew on Friday in response to violent protests following the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who died in police custody after an officer knelt on his neck for about eight minutes.

Derek Chauvin, the officer who was caught on video pinning Floyd to the ground, has been charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. He and the other three officers on the scene have been fired from the Minneapolis Police Department.

Protests have since swept the country in response to Floyd's death, with at least 40 cities imposing curfews and the National Guard activated in 15 states and Washington, D.C., according to CNN.