Parson activates Missouri National Guard due to violent protests

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JEFFERSON CITY - Gov. Mike Parson signed an executive order to declare a State of Emergency in Missouri because of civil unrest on Saturday.

Parson activated the Missouri National Guard to assist local authorities and protect citizens from violence and property damage around 9:20 Saturday night, according to a news release.

“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,” Parson said.

Executive Order 20-11 calls and orders portions of the National Guard into active service as the Adjutant General of the State of Missouri deems necessary to aid the executive officials of Missouri to protect life and property.

Parson said in the release that citizens have the right to peacefully assemble and protest, however "there are other events occurring throughout Missouri that have created conditions of distress and hazards to the safety, welfare, and property of residents and visitors in our communities that are beyond the capacities of local authorities."

“Violence and destruction are not the answers,” Parson said. “I support those who are calling for justice and peace."

He said a small portion of people have seized on the peaceful demonstrations to commit violent acts.

"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," Parson said.

In a tweet Sunday, the Kansas City police department said items were thrown at nearly all police officers during Saturday night protests.