Oklahoma activates National Guard for Trump Tulsa rally

7 months ago 46
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June 17 (UPI) -- Oklahoma has activated the National Guard to be present during President Donald Trump's rally in Tulsa on Saturday.

Tulsa Chief of Police Wendell Franklin said Wednesday that Gov. Kevin Stitt had activated the National Guard at the request of the Tulsa Police Department.

"There will be significant presence in the downtown area over the coming days," Franklin said, adding that the FBI and Secret Service would also assist the police department in "securing our city" during Trump's visit.

Charlie Hannema, Stitt's chief of communications, said 240 National Guard members will be present during the rally.

The announcement comes after Trump strongly encouraged governors throughout the nation to deploy the National Guard in response to ongoing protests sparked by the killing of George Floyd, a black man, by a white Minneapolis police officer.

Saturday's rally was pushed back after criticism of his original plans to hold the event on Juneteenth, a holiday celebrating the emancipation of slaves in Texas in 1865.

Trump on Monday tweeted that more than 1 million people expressed interest in attending the event at the Bank of Oklahoma Center.

Tulsa officials said Wednesday they anticipate about 100,000 people at the venue, which has a seating capacity of nearly 20,000.

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