Gov. Mike Parson activated the Missouri National Guard on Thursday to help local law enforcement if needed during civil unrest and demonstrations.

JEFFERSON CITY — Gov. Mike Parson activated the Missouri National Guard on Thursday to help local law enforcement if needed during civil unrest and demonstrations.

Parson said in a statement the move was "precautionary" and a "proactive" step in response to civil unrest across the country.

A spokeswoman for the governor did not immediately respond to a request for more information. 

"We fully support the right of citizens to peacefully protest and are committed to protecting that right," Parson said. "At this time, we are taking a proactive approach in the event that assistance is needed to support local law enforcement in protecting Missouri and its people."