Los Angeles’ top law enforcement officials say they are ready to call on the National Guard for help as they brace for protests over the upcoming verdict in the trial of a former Minnesota police officer charged with murdering George Floyd and over another recent police killing in that state.
“We are inquiring with all our law enforcement partners as to their state of readiness, which includes contingency planning with the National Guard,” said Capt. John Satterfield, a spokesman for the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. “Sheriff Alex Villanueva is a strong supporter of the 1st Amendment and the people’s right to protest, but if these actions become violent or shift into lawlessness, swift and decisive action will be taken to protect life, protect property, and maintain order in a fair, firm and impartial manner.”
Saying authorities are in the “planning phase,” Satterfield said it would be “premature to say” how many Guard troops would be ready to deploy.
At a press conference Monday, Villanueva, Los Angeles Police Department Chief Michel Moore and other county officials urged protesters to demonstrate peacefully. In comments during the event, Moore said that he, too, was prepared to call on the National Guard “if that becomes necessary.”
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