Gov. McMaster: National Guard, law enforcement ‘alert and ready’

Gov. McMaster: National Guard, law enforcement ‘alert and ready’
South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster made a statement at Wednesday's press conference. He says South Carolina is doing better than most states. (Source: Morgan Newell, WBTV)

COLUMBIA, SC (WMBF) - Gov. Henry McMaster announced Sunday the National Guard is on alert and will be available to prevent further violence at recent protests across the country.

McMaster said state, county and local authorities are also on alert, a response to violent protests in places like Columbia and Charleston Saturday.

“We are determined to see it things level off here in South Carolina and we do not experience the tragedies that they’ve had in other places,” McMaster said Sunday.

The protests have come in after the death of George Floyd, a Minnesota man who died May 25 while in police custody. A widely-circulated video shows an officer pressing his knee on Floyd’s neck for several minutes, which sparked outrage in Minnesota and in other states.

McMaster said it remains to be seen whether a statewide curfew will be placed in South Carolina. He also said he welcomes peaceful protests, and does not want to infringe on Constitutional rights.

“And we also we do not tolerate lawlessness and violence, and the destruction of property and harm to our people,” he said. “So, we are prepared.”

U.S. Sen. Tim Scott also joined officials Sunday. He called Floyd’s death a “tragic incident."

“As I watched the video for Minnesota, my heart broke. I felt anger. I felt fear as an African American who enjoys jogging and walking in and doing things out in society I wondered how things had changed,” Scott said.

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