“Town Crier” newsletter – Briefs from the Region (2) – 6/5/20
Following a June 1 call between state-level National Guard leaders and the federal National Guard Bureau, in which the latter asked which states would be willing to send troops to Washington, D.C., in response to protests sparked by the May 25 killing of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer, Montana declined to heed the call. According to the Billings Gazette, “States deploying National Guard soldiers to Washington, D.C., include Florida, Indiana, Maryland, Missouri, New Jersey, Tennessee and Utah. Protests have at times been violent.” Adjutant Gen. Matthew Quinn told the outlet “We never really got a request from National Guard Bureau to tag Montana, ‘governor of Montana, can you send troops?,’” explaining the request was never pointed directly at Montana. President Trump also made requests of “dozens of governors” to deploy National Guard troops to D.C., despite Mayor Muriel E. Bowser’s pushback on “uninvited military, National Guard & unidentifiable federal officials amassing on our streets for the glorification of one man who sits afraid/alone,” a reference to President Donald Trump.” The piece adds the federal National Guard Bureau serves as an intermediary between U.S. Armed Forces and state National Guards, and does not issue commands, only requests, meaning at this point the response is not federalized, in which National Guard troops are deployed under federal command.