Minnesota National Guard

On the fourth day of protests over the killing of George Floyd, demonstrators gather near the National Guard.

(The Center Square) – Deploying thousands of Minnesota National Guard members in response to civil unrest in the Twin Cities to quell riots in late May cost nearly $13 million.

Major General Jon Jenson broke down the $12.75 million costs in a letter to Minnesota Management and Budget Commissioner Myron Frans.

  • $9.45 million for payroll
  • $2.1 million for meals and per diem
  • $100,000 for lodging
  • $1 million for vehicles and fuel
  • $100,000 for commodities

“This funding is expected to be eligible for [Federal Emergency Management Agency] reimbursement,” Frans wrote in a separate letter to Sen. Julie Rosen, R-Vernon Center, and Rep. Lyndon Carlson, DFL-Crystal.

The death of George Floyd on May 25 in the custody of the Minneapolis Police Department sparked protests against police brutality that spread across the nation.

Derek Chauvin, the former officer who pinned Floyd for nearly nine minutes on the ground, was charged with second-degree murder. Three other officers were fired and charged with aiding and abetting murder. 

More than 7,000 National Guard members were activated by May 31 in response to burning buildings and more than 300 damaged businesses in Minneapolis and St. Paul after peaceful protests devolved into crime.

The first letter also details a total cost of $1.25 million for the Guard to provide relief for the Red River flooding and to assist the state’s COVID-19 response.

The Minnesota Legislature will kick off a special session on Friday that aims to enact police accountability reform, provide aid to local cities with budgets battered by COVID-19, and a bonding bill. 

Staff Reporter

Scott McClallen is a staff writer covering Michigan and Minnesota for The Center Square. A graduate of Hillsdale College, his work has appeared on Forbes.com and FEE.org. Previously, he worked as a financial analyst at Pepsi.