BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — Governor Charlie Baker signed an order Friday activating up to 1,000 members of the Massachusetts National Guard "in the event municipal leaders require their assistance."
According to Gov. Baker's office, the National Guard personnel were ordered to State active duty "to provide necessary assistance to State and local civilian authorities and/or special duty and emergency assistance for the preservation of life and property, preservation of order, and to afford protection to persons."
Although no official reason was stated for the activation of the National Guard, Baker's order follows another surge of nationwide protests calling for racial equality and police reform. Demonstrations kicked off across the U.S. this week after the police-involved shooting of another Black man, Jacob Blake Jr., in Kenosha, Wisconsin. During a rally in Kenosha calling for justice for Blake, a 17-year-old shot into a crowd of protestors, killing two.
A spokesperson for the Massachusetts Executive Office of Public Safety and Security said the National Guard personnel are deployed "only at the request of, and in coordination with, the communities seeking support."
While the Governor's activation order initially includes up to 1,000 National Guard personnel, that number could be increased by further order.
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