Governor says National Guard available to cities if requested; Guard will protect state properties

Gov. Eric Holcomb has put the Indiana National Guard “on standby” so members are ready to help Indianapolis and other communities that ask for assistance and said he will deploy Guard members to protect state properties starting today.

Holcomb did not specify which state properties Guard members would patrol. But in addition to the Statehouse, the Soldiers & Sailors Monument—which has been repeatedly graffitied as part of the protests—is operated by the state’s Indiana War Memorials department.

The Indiana War Memorial, also operated by the department, is another area where protesters have gathered.

The Governor’s Office said on Sunday that Holcomb had “verbally activated” the Indiana National Guard Reactionary Force on Saturday, but no community requested assistance.

And on Sunday, Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett said he did not see a need to deploy the National Guard in the city. Hogsett announced that he will impose a curfew that starts at 8 p.m. Sunday and ends at 6 a.m. Monday following a second night of violence and significant vandalism downtown.

Holcomb’s statement comes as more than a dozen states have activated National Guard members to help with the response to protests that have turned violent in major cities following the death of a black man in police custody last week in Minneapolis.

Kentucky and Ohio are among states that have activated National Guard units.

Holcomb’s office did not respond to requests from IBJ about the use of National Guard units on Saturday night and Sunday, although the office says that it initially made the Guard available on Saturday.

“At my order, the Indiana National Guard stands ready to assist local communities in need to protect the public and property, and I am deploying Guard members to protect state property beginning today,” Holcomb said in a statement on Sunday.

“Organized protests have taken place across the state without incident but the events that have followed, particularly in Indianapolis, have devastated businesses, defaced public monuments that are centuries old, and resulted in loss of life,” he said.

Holcomb also lifted his restriction preventing local governments from imposing travel warnings that are stricter than the state’s restrictions. On Sunday, Hogsett issued a warning-level local nighttime travel emergency.

Police reported 29 arrests of protesters late Saturday until about 4 a.m. Sunday after 27 were arrested the night before.

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9 thoughts on “Governor says National Guard available to cities if requested; Guard will protect state properties

  1. Really Mayor Joe? Have you seen Downtown? For those of us who live Downtown, last night was traumatic. We need the National Guard. We need order restored.

  2. I can’t believe we aren’t bringing in the Natl Guard right away. So much of downtown has been destroyed. What are we waiting for? An 8pm curfew will be meaningless if you don’t have the resources to enforce it. And given what happened the last two nights it sure doesn’t appear as though IMPD can stop much of anything.

  3. It brings to memory a sign we use to see on random properties when I was a kid, “Trespassers will be shot”…that’s the way local law and order should take care of people who are not protesting but instead trespassing, vandalizing, and stealing

  4. Key point here. Mayor Joe has to ask for help. It may be a little late though. A lot of people have invested a lot of money as well as their lives in downtown Indianapolis. First if was letting the homeless live on the streets of downtown now mayor Joe letting other people destroy it physically.

  5. Unemployment continues to rise. Governor, mayor and police chief should be out of work asap. You failed. You did not even protect your own police when u had so few out here. Good luck with your next employment opportunities. Toughen up.