Monday, July 6, 2020

National Guard deployed to Boston to help quell riots

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The U.S. National Guard members arrived in Boston late Sunday night to help quell riots that erupted in the city.

Clashes with police, vandalism and looting began on Sunday night following a peaceful rally in downtown Boston. A police cruiser was set on fire while several shops were looted, according to media reports.

The CBS Boston has reported that around 10 p.m., destruction began to break out near Downtown Crossing as Boston Police officers worked to clear crowds. Several stores were broken into, and a police cruiser was set on fire.

WBZ-TV security analyst Ed Davis said the National Guard can be used to free up resources for the Boston Police Department.

As of Sunday, National Guard Soldiers and Airmen were activated in 24 states in response to civil disturbances, bringing the total number of Guard members on duty in support of their governors to nearly 62,000.

This number represents activations for civil unrest, COVID-19 response, as well as state-specific disasters such as wildfires, flooding and other natural disasters.

The civil unrest response mission is expected to grow as governors access the fluid situations in their states and call on the National Guard to assist.

“The hardest mission we do is responding in times of civil unrest,” said Air Force Gen. Joseph Lengyel, chief of the National Guard Bureau.

The activation of Guard members in response to civil unrest has unfolded in multiple cities in the wake of the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

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