National Guard deployed to keep peace in Memphis, across Tennessee

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The National Guard is on duty around the state and right here in Memphis, working closely with local law-enforcement to keep the peace.

Gov. Bill Lee put the Tennessee National Guard on active duty Saturday in several cities where protesters were descending, after several mayors requested it, said Lt. Col. Chris Messina.  

“Currently we have well over 450 well trained Tennessee National Guard personnel that have been mobilized across all three divisions of the state … to assist state and local governments, law enforcement and first responders,” Messina said.

Because of security reasons, he said he can’t say how many of those are in Memphis.

But they are working to keep things peaceful as protesters rally, and some even resort to destroying property and blocking major roadways. 

They are trying to create a safe environment for people to express their freedom to assemble, Messina said.

The guard is made up of local and statewide members who put their lives on hold in a moment’s notice to answer the call and provide protection.

“With ongoing protests and potential civil unrest, we are called upon and we are here to protect Tennesseans,” Messina said. The National Guard will be here as long as the mayor says they are needed.

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