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Minneapolis mayor calls for calm after a 2nd night of protests over George Floyd's death collapses into chaos, leaving a Target looted and an AutoZone on fire

May 28, 2020
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Police officers removing barricades set by protesters outside the 3rd Police Precinct on Wednesday in Minneapolis during a demonstration over the death of George Floyd.

KEREM YUCEL/AFP via Getty Images

  • Protests continued in Minneapolis on Wednesday over the death of George Floyd, a black man who died in a hospital after a police officer kneeled on his neck for roughly eight minutes.
  • “Please, Minneapolis, we cannot let tragedy beget more tragedy,” Mayor Jacob Frey said Wednesday night. “The area along Lake has become unsafe. We are asking for your help in keeping the peace tonight.”
  • Some businesses including a Target store were looted, and an AutoZone was on fire.
  • Some protesters threw bottles and rocks at police officers who responded with rubber bullets, flash bombs, and tear gas, according to local outlets.
  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Mayor Jacob Frey of Minneapolis asked people to go home after a second night of protests over George Floyd’s death escalated from the events of the night before.

“Please, Minneapolis, we cannot let tragedy beget more tragedy,” Frey said in a tweet Wednesday night. “The area along Lake has become unsafe. We are asking for your help in keeping the peace tonight.”

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="The Star Tribune described stores being looted and establishments on fire.” data-reactid=”26″>The Star Tribune described stores being looted and establishments on fire.

“We appreciate those that protested peacefully, but now is the time to go home,” he said, according to the Star Tribune reporter Liz Navratil. “Obviously, we have both instances of violence and fires. There are institutions, grocery stores and markets around Lake, that our community relies on … especially in times of a pandemic.”

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="According to KSTP, protesters threw bottles and rocks at police officers, who responded with rubber bullets, flash-bangs, and tear gas. The Star Tribune said "most of the violence stemmed from a large crowd that gathered outside Minneapolis’ 3rd Precinct police headquarters."” data-reactid=”28″>According to KSTP, protesters threw bottles and rocks at police officers, who responded with rubber bullets, flash-bangs, and tear gas. The Star Tribune said “most of the violence stemmed from a large crowd that gathered outside Minneapolis’ 3rd Precinct police headquarters.”

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="A Target, an AutoZone, a tobacco store, a liquor store, a Cub Foods, and a Dollar Tree in the area were looted, KSTP reported.” data-reactid=”29″>A Target, an AutoZone, a tobacco store, a liquor store, a Cub Foods, and a Dollar Tree in the area were looted, KSTP reported.

Videos online showed the AutoZone, which is across the street from the precinct, set ablaze.

The Star Tribune reported that while some protesters tried to extinguish the flames, others “danced gleefully in front of the flames and smoke, snapping selfies.”

Gov. Tim Walz also responded to the violence and said in a tweet that the area “has evolved into an extremely dangerous situation.”

State troopers were sent to the area to back up the local police.

KSTP reported that the Minneapolis Police Department said it was “aware of what is happening in the area” and was “working on the matter.”

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Ricardo Lopez, a local reporter who was on the scene, tweeted that smoke was also "billowing out of the Cub Food store."” data-reactid=”38″>Ricardo Lopez, a local reporter who was on the scene, tweeted that smoke was also “billowing out of the Cub Food store.”

A barricade by a construction site was also set on fire, according to reports.

One man was fatally shot in the Lake Street neighborhood around the time of the protest, though it’s unclear the circumstances of the shooting. According to the Star Tribune, the police had “little information about the circumstances of that death.”

Minneapolis City Council Vice President Andrea Jenkins condemned the violence, according to the Star Tribune.

“I understand the frustration of my community members, but I’m really disappointed that people feel like the only way to express anger is through destroying our own community,” Jenkins said, according to the outlet. “I mean, tomorrow, where are these moms … going to be able to get food and diapers for their children? We’re in a pandemic. Stores aren’t even open.”

George Floyd’s death sparks outrage

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Thousands of people began protesting Tuesday over Floyd's death after a video circulated online showing a white police officer in Minneapolis kneeling on the neck of Floyd, a black man, for nearly eight minutes.” data-reactid=”45″>Thousands of people began protesting Tuesday over Floyd’s death after a video circulated online showing a white police officer in Minneapolis kneeling on the neck of Floyd, a black man, for nearly eight minutes.

“Please, please, please, I can’t breathe,” Floyd said in the video. “Don’t kill me.”

Floyd became unresponsive about halfway through the video. A police statement on Tuesday said he had been experiencing “medical distress” and later died that evening.

Four police officers who were involved in the arrest were fired, Frey said on Tuesday.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="According to Fox News, protesters want charges filed against the four officers.” data-reactid=”49″>According to Fox News, protesters want charges filed against the four officers.

Earlier Wednesday, about 50 protesters gathered in front of Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman’s office demanding that the officer who was seen in the video with his knee on Floyd’s neck be charged with murder, the Star Tribune reported.

“They need to go to jail, all four cops,” Erica Chick, who drove up from Charles City, Iowa, to attend more peaceful protests on Wednesday afternoon, told the Star Tribune.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Read the original article on Insider” data-reactid=”52″>Read the original article on Insider

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