Oklahoma has activated the National Guard to be present during President Donald Trump’s rally in Tulsa on Saturday.
On Wednesday, the Tulsa Chief of Police Wendell Franklin said 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 postponed 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 they expect about 100,000 people at the venue, which has a seating capacity of nearly 20,000.