MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Minnesota National Guard troops were not among those sent to rest in a Washington, D.C. parking garage, according to Sen. Amy Klobuchar.
After spending days in the cold securing the United States Capitol following the deadly siege two weeks ago, citizen members of the National Guard were asked to leave the Capitol building and relocate to a nearby parking garage to rest during their shifts. The decision drew swift condemnation from lawmakers, including Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, who called the move “outrageous.”READ MORE: Minnesota Weather: Perfect Snow Melt Will Minimize Flooding
Several pressed to have it reversed. And it was late Thursday night.
On Friday, Klobuchar said she checked with the Minnesota National Guard commander and confirmed that no Minnesota troops were among those sent to the parking garage.
Nearly 750 Minnesota National Guard members provided support for the presidential inauguration Wednesday.
“While our MN troops in D.C. were not sent to rest in any garage, what happened was appalling,” Klobuchar tweeted. “While it has now been resolved, it can never happen again. We thank all the troops for their extraordinary help and service.”
Just checked in with the Minnesota National Guard commander. While our MN troops in D.C. were not sent to rest in any garage, what happened was appalling. While it has now been resolved, it can never happen again. We thank all the troops for their extraordinary help and service.
— Amy Klobuchar (@amyklobuchar) January 22, 2021READ MORE: Downtown Minneapolis Businesses Hope Chauvin Trial Brings Much-Needed Boost
About 3,500 National Guard members were moved out of the Capitol, but not all were in the parking garage at the same time. During their guard duty shifts, members are cycled into the garage to warm up and take a break, and they have hotel rooms to sleep in when their shifts are over.
Some guardsmen expressed displeasure at having their rest area moved to a parking garage. While the garage has heat and lights, there are only a few restrooms and limited cell phone and internet service and power outlets.
The U.S. Capitol Police confirmed Friday that it would investigate the matter.
The Minnesota National Guard says it will continue standing guard in Washington, D.C. to “ensure a preavailing peace within the city.” Also, troops will be returning to their home states “gradually” based on needs and conditions on the ground.
Minnesota Rep. Bob Dettmer (R-Forest Lake) is now calling on Gov. Tim Walz to bring back Minnesota’s troops.MORE NEWS: BCA Identifies Brothers Who Died In Wadena County Shootout
“As usual, members of the Minnesota National Guard have once again served our nation well,” Dettmer said. “But after seeing the recent news and photos coming out of Washington, it’s very clearly time for all of them to come home. I am urging Governor Walz to recognize that our National Guard’s mission is complete and to order the hundreds of Minnesota troops that were sent to Washington D.C. to return home to Minnesota and their families.”
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