Missouri governor activates National Guard in response to civil unrest across US

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FILE – In this July 7, 2020, file photo, Missouri Gov. Mike Parson speaks during a “National Dialogue on Safely Reopening America’s Schools,” event in the East Room of the White House, in Washington. Parson is clarifying comments he made Friday, July 17, that children returning to school will come down with the coronavirus but will “get over it,” remarks that drew criticism, including from the Missouri National Education Association’s leader. Parson said in a radio interview Tuesday, on KMOX in St. Louis, that he “didn’t do a good job” of making his point, but that he never meant to imply he didn’t care about children. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Gov. Mike Parson activated the Missouri National Guard on Thursday to help local law enforcement if needed during civil unrest and demonstrations.

Parson said in a statement the move was “precautionary” and a “proactive” step in response to civil unrest across the country.

A spokeswoman for the governor did not immediately respond to a request for more information.

“We fully support the right of citizens to peacefully protest and are committed to protecting that right,” Parson said. “At this time, we are taking a proactive approach in the event that assistance is needed to support local law enforcement in protecting Missouri and its people.”

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