With the officers involved in George Floyd’s death still free men, protests grew Thursday night turning Minneapolis streets into chaos. The Minneapolis Star-Tribune writes:
An angry crowd broke into the Minneapolis Police Department’s Third Precinct headquarters Thursday night and set fire to the building, capping another day of protests, many of them violent, across the Twin Cities.
The police station on E. Lake Street has been the epicenter of protests this week for people demanding justice after the death of George Floyd, who died Monday when a Minneapolis police officer set his knee on Floyd’s neck for several minutes.
Nearby, Minnehaha Lake Wine & Spirits, the target of looters the night before, also was set ablaze. As flames leapt, sharp explosions sounded as people threw bottles filled with accelerants or fired bullets into the fires.
Many buildings, including the precinct, were burned to the ground. Watch above as CNN’s Sara Sidner reported from the scene.
Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey commented, “What we have seen over the past several hours and past couple of nights is unacceptable. These are banks that people rely on to get cash, grocery stores that people rely on to get food. They are essential to our community.”
We are working with @MinneapolisFire to deliver resources and respond for a beloved neighborhood in our city. We all need to work together to ensure the safety of our friends, family, and Minneapolis residents. And right now working together means clearing the area.
— Mayor Jacob Frey (@MayorFrey) May 29, 2020
Early Friday morning Donald Trump responded, but some say his response only inflamed tensions.
….These THUGS are dishonoring the memory of George Floyd, and I won’t let that happen. Just spoke to Governor Tim Walz and told him that the Military is with him all the way. Any difficulty and we will assume control but, when the looting starts, the shooting starts. Thank you!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 29, 2020
Police and fire crews were absent most of the night, they seemed to abandon the area for their own safety. But the National Guard and State Patrol arrived around 5 am and cleared the area. While they were asking people to leave, an extraordinary moment occurred on live television. CNN reporter Omar Jimenez was reporting from the scene, telling police that he would stand wherever they wanted when all of a sudden he was arrested, then one by one his entire crew was taken into custody as well.
— CNN (@CNN) May 29, 2020
CNN’s John Berman pointed out that Jimenez, a black reporter, was arrested, while their white correspondent, Josh Campbell was not taken into custody. CNN political commentator Bakari Sellers said, “law enforcement in Minneapolis had the audacity and gall to arrest a reporter, but a law enforcement officer who put his knee on the back of the neck of a man and choked him for eight minutes is still free to walk around. That is what we are talking about the justice system in America looking like.”
Minnesota Governor Tim Walz stepped in and called for the immediate release of the CNN crew saying, “It was totally unacceptable.” Jimenez and his crew were allowed to leave a short time later.
— New Day (@NewDay) May 29, 2020
Arresting reporters for doing their jobs is a mark of tyranny and demands a complete investigation and repercussions.
— Dan Rather (@DanRather) May 29, 2020