- Associated Press - Friday, June 5, 2020

BOISE, Idaho (AP) - The Idaho National Guard is sending about 400 members to Washington to be deployed at monuments and federal buildings in the nation’s capital amid protests stemming from the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

The announcement came after the National Guard Bureau requested volunteers to go to Washington temporarily amid Black Lives Matter protests that erupted over the death of Floyd, a black man who died after an officer pressed his knee into his neck for several minutes even after he stopped moving and pleading for air.

The Guard is expected to pay for any related expenses related to the deployment, KIVI-TV reported.

“Regardless of where we are in the U.S., our role is to support civilian authorities and our personnel are trained to protect life, preserve property and ensure people’s right to peacefully demonstrate,” said Maj. Gen. Michael Garshak, Idaho National Guard commander.

Personnel activated Thursday will travel by military aircraft and report for duty Friday. The deployment is expected to last five days, with Idaho Guardsmen assisting the U.S. Park Police and the Metropolitan Police Department.

Protests have taken place in Washington for more than a week and are expected to continue through the weekend. Some have turned violent.

“I don’t know what that current situation and threat of vandalism is. … But I have heard the violence and vandalism is scaling down,” Lt. Col. Christopher Borders told the Idaho Statesman.

The Idaho National Guard has deployed out-of-state in support of national emergencies in the past, including for Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and wildland fire suppression in Oregon and Washington in 2015.

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