COLUMBUS -- The Ohio State Highway Patrol sent 100 troopers to Minnesota on Monday to assist law enforcement officers with potential civil unrest.
The movement came as the jury continued deliberations in the murder trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, charged with the killing of George Floyd, an unarmed Black man in May 2020.
That death sparked nationwide protests against police brutality, some of which turned violent.
"Ohio troopers will assist with various security assignments to allow Minnesota law enforcement officers the ability to respond to incidents as needed," said OSHP staff Lt. Craig Cvetan, public affairs commander.
Cvetan said Ohio troopers will perform roles similar to what they do in their home state. The home stations of the troopers sent on Monday was not disclosed.
"They will be present to keep people safe and protect property," Cvetan told Richland Source. "Our goal is the same as it is here, to work with our law enforcement partners to keep people safe, to protect property and still allow everyone to exercise their constitutional rights safely."
The OSHP spokesman said troopers are always prepared to respond to incidents in the interest of public safety, whether in Ohio or when requested by another state.
"This is what Ohio troopers do, whether it’s a motorist stranded along the highway, a local law enforcement agency here in Ohio or an out-of-state law enforcement partner, when someone needs help we are there for them," Cvetan said. "We all took an oath to support the Constitution of the United States and faithfully, honestly and impartially discharge our duties as a trooper. That oath does not have boundaries.
"We have committed to a timeframe for the assistance, however for security reasons we cannot discuss how long that will be."
It's the first time in five years Ohio has sent troopers beyond state borders. In 2016, Ohio sent less than 50 troopers to North Dakota after clashes there between police and demonstrators protesting against a controversial oil pipeline that ran through the Standing Rock Indian Reservation.
The State of Minnesota will pay for the OSHP deployment under the terms of an agreement under which law enforcement agencies can request help from each other, regardless of state lines, Cvetan said.
Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz said and State Patrol Col. Matt Langer said the state was preparing to bring in roughly 120 law enforcement officers from Nebraska and Ohio in an effort to stave off civil unrest in the Twin Cities, according to a story Monday in the Brainerd (Minn.) Dispatch.
"Local and state resources have been fully deployed, but they are inadequate to address the threat," Walz wrote in an executive order. "Recent events in Brooklyn Center have exhausted Minnesota’s local and state resources and are likely to hamper our ability to provide public safety and protect critical infrastructure and key resources in the seven-county metro area in the coming week."
According to the Brainerd Dispatch article, state legislative leaders on Monday said they were in negotiations over a proposal to fund the law enforcement back-up. A $9 million proposal to fund a police response in the state passed the Senate on a bipartisan basis. The bill's prospects in the Minnesota House of Representatives remained in question.