JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Gov. Mike Parson on Saturday declared a State of Emergency in response to protests around the state that he described as creating hazards that are beyond the abilities of local authorities to manage.
Protests continued Saturday in the St. Louis area, in Kansas City and elsewhere in the state in response to the death of George Floyd after a white Minneapolis police officer pressed his knee onto Floyd’s neck during an arrest.
The declaration activates the Missouri National Guard and the Missouri Highway Patrol to help supplement local police forces.
“We are deeply saddened by the tragic death of George Floyd. We are also saddened by the acts of violence that have transpired across our nation and state in response to this event. At this time, we are taking a proactive approach to protect Missouri and its people,” Governor Mike Parson said in a statement.
In Kansas City, several people were arrested in Friday evening protests in and near the Country Club Plaza shopping and entertainment district.
“This has just been disappointing,” Capt. David Jackson, with the Kansas City Police Department, said. “This was declared unlawful some time ago.”
Capt. Jackson told FOX4 that several large violent groups of protesters have thrown bottles and rocks, blocked streets, looted businesses as of 10 p.m. on May 30. He said additional forces have arrived in Kansas City to aid current police forces.
“Violence and destruction are not the answers,” Governor Mike Parson said. “This violence not only threatens public safety and destroys economic opportunity; it drowns out the voices of the peaceful demonstrators calling for justice and working to improve our nation.”