National Guard soldier earns applause from protesters after remarks outside State Capitol

A Minnesota National Guard soldier earned a loud ovation from protesters gathered outside the State Capitol Monday evening after days where protesters and law enforcement have clashed following the death of George Floyd.

Lt. Col. Sam Andrews, the Deputy Operations Officer for the Minnesota National Guard, asked the protesters to respect the National Guard’s equipment, but expressed his support for the first amendment rights of the protesters.

He gave the address, which earned applause from the protesters, while kneeling, which has become a symbol of solidarity for George Floyd. St. Paul officers were seen performing a similar act of solidarity at an earlier protest Monday. 

“We live and work and serve in your neighborhoods and we’ve been affected just like you have,” said the Guardsman.

He said the soldiers would remain on scene and that the protesters would be heard.

After the remarks, the man asked, “Is that OK?”

The protesters responded with a resounding, “Yes” before the applause began.

The protesters arrived at the State Capitol after a much larger protest outside the Governor's Mansion Monday afternoon