Baker activates members of Massachusetts National Guard

BOSTON (AP) — Gov. Charlie Baker signed an order Thursday activating up to 1,000 members of the Massachusetts National Guard as cities across the country prepare for possible protests following the decision not to charge officers for killing Breonna Taylor.

In the order, Baker said guard members will be available to help provide “emergency assistance for the preservation of life and property, preservation of order, and to afford protection to persons.”

A spokesperson for the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security said the guard members are available “in the event that municipal leaders require assistance to protect opportunities to exercise first amendment rights and to maintain public safety during large scale events.”

National Guard personnel are deployed only at the request of, and in coordination with, the communities seeking support, the spokesperson said in a written statement.

Outrage over a grand jury’s failure to bring homicide charges against the officers who burst into the Black woman’s apartment six months ago set off a new round of demonstrations Wednesday in several cities across the country.