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What role do Maryland State Police, National Guard play in Baltimore protests?

The presence of large National Guard vehicles in Baltimore during Monday's protests may have caused some confusion. No guard troops have been deployed to Baltimore in response to protests, but those already in town to help the city deal with the coronavirus outbreak provided transportation and logistical support.
The presence of large National Guard vehicles in Baltimore during Monday's protests may have caused some confusion. No guard troops have been deployed to Baltimore in response to protests, but those already in town to help the city deal with the coronavirus outbreak provided transportation and logistical support. (Kenneth K. Lam)

Baltimore’s recent protests against the death of George Floyd have been largely peaceful, but city police have been aided by additional state resources.

What are Maryland State Police doing?

Maryland State Police troopers assigned to the Special Operations Division and the Mobile Field Force have responded to Baltimore for the protests, state police spokesman Greg Shipley said.

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Shipley said those units “are specially equipped and trained in restoring public order.” Shipley did not say how many troopers were deployed to the city.

In addition to officers, Shipley said one armored police vehicle was brought to Baltimore. The Baltimore police department announced the involvement of the State Police in a tweet Monday night.

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“Maryland State Police Superintendent Colonel Woodrow Jones III is in regular contact with Baltimore Police Commissioner Michael Harrison,” Shipley said. “Any Maryland State Police response has been and will be conducted in coordination with and in support of the Baltimore Police Department.”

What is the Maryland National Guard doing?

The national guard has not been activated to respond to any protests in Baltimore, but troops did respond Monday night to “support law enforcement with transportation,” Maryland National Guard spokesman Maj. Kurt Rauschenberg said.

On Monday evening, several people posted pictures to social media of large military trucks, which Raushenberg said were used to help transport police officers. One Twitter user’s video showed officers Monday afternoon carrying shields and loading into guard trucks parked in Remington.

Maryland troops have been deployed to Washington, D.C., Rauschenberg said. He said about 120 soldiers are going to support the DC National Guard. The Guard’s mission will involve protecting monuments an and around the National Mall, according to the governor’s office.

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