TRENTON — New Jersey's 85 National Guard troops dispatched to Washington, D.C., to help guard national monuments amid protests over the death of George Floyd will return home this weekend, Gov. Phil Murphy said Friday.

New Jersey was one of a handful of states that authorized National Guard members to go to the nation's capital earlier this week as protests continued to sweep across the district. The Democratic governors of Virginia, Pennsylvania, New York and Delaware declined requests to send their troops.

Murphy said their deployment was always planned to be short term. The troops will return Saturday.

The troops were from the 508th Military Police Company based in Teaneck, according to the state Department of Military and Veterans Affairs.

They were dispatched to Washington on Monday, officials said, just ahead of President Donald Trump's walk from the White House to a historical Episcopal church nearby following the forceful clearing of protesters crowding the square between the two buildings.

Murphy said New Jersey's troops were not involved in clearing protesters, but were guarding monuments.

Floyd, a black man, died after a white Minneapolis police officer pressed a knee into his neck for several minutes. The officer has been charged with second-degree murder. Three other officers are charged with aiding and abetting. All have been fired.

 

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