Minneapolis Protest Over George Floyd Death Turns Violent

A violent wave of protests erupted across South Minneapolis overnight Thursday, with the police firing tear gas and rubber bullets as people set buildings on fire and looted stores days after George Floyd, an African-American man, died in police custody.

Mr. Floyd, 46, died on Monday after being handcuffed and pinned to the ground by a white police officer who pressed his knee on Mr. Floyd’s neck for several minutes. A video of the arrest, in which he is heard pleading “I can’t breathe,” spread widely online, and was followed by protests in Minneapolis and around the country.

“They executed my brother in broad daylight,” Philonise Floyd told CNN on Thursday morning, breaking down in tears. “I am just tired of seeing black people dying.”

Four officers involved in the encounter were fired from the Minneapolis Police Department, and the F.B.I. joined the investigation into the death of Mr. Floyd, a resident of St. Louis Park, Minn. Minneapolis’s mayor called for the police officer who had pressed his knee to Mr. Floyd’s neck to be arrested and charged.

Unlike the first night of protests, when thousands gathered peacefully, the police reported widespread civil disobedience, looting and multiple fires beginning Wednesday afternoon and stretching into Thursday.

A man poses for photos in front of a fire at an AutoZone store, while protesters hold a rally for George Floyd in Minneapolis on Wednesday, May 27, 2020.

“Tonight was a different night of protesting than it was just the night before,” said John Elder, a police spokesman.

Mayor Jacob Frey pleaded on Twitter for people to stay at home. “Please, please Minneapolis,” he wrote, “we cannot let tragedy beget more tragedy. Please, help us keep the peace. Stay safe and evacuate the area.”

The police said that a fatal shooting in the protest area appeared to be related to the looting of a pawnshop where the store owner fired shots. A man was wounded and taken to a hospital, where he died, according to the police.

The violence came at the end of what had been a tense period.

Protesters began gathering Wednesday afternoon outside Police Headquarters, but by early evening, things started to take a turn and officers tried to disperse the crowds using flash-bang grenades and tear gas.

As night fell, more people filled the streets, and soon fires lit up the sky. Images on television and social media showed at least one business, an auto-parts store, ablaze and people carrying goods from another store that had been vandalized.

The Minneapolis Star Tribune reported that a Target and Cub Foods store anchoring the corner of East Lake Street and Hiawatha Avenue were looted, as were several small businesses, including a liquor store.

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Laura C.S

Hello! My name is Laura Songok, I am a passionate writer at I have been in this industry for two years. In my copious free time, I enjoy swimming and exploring. Most seriously, my friends describe me as easy going.
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