June 5th 2020
Look, things aren’t feeling so bright and cheery in the US right now. And the sad truth is that there are some tough times ahead.
We usually bring you stories on Friday that are absurd or even infuriating.
I’m sure you’ve seen enough of that this week.
So we thought we’d share a few moments of character and integrity shown at protests across the US, which shined through all the tragedy.
There are bad apples on all sides– some bad apple protestors who loot and burn and destroy. And some bad apple cops who engage in terrible acts of violence.
But there are plenty of good apples on both sides too.
Protesters tackle man breaking up sidewalk for projectiles
Peaceful protesters sprang into action when they saw a man destroying a sidewalk.
The man was dressed in all black, like Antifa, and was apparently destroying the sidewalk to create projectiles to hurl at police and businesses.
But rather than let things escalate, peaceful protesters tackled the man, took his hammer, and handed him over to a group of police who were nearby.
In fact, the police were right standing there, with the man in clear view. And yet they did nothing to stop him.
Cops even almost arrested one of the peaceful protesters who handed the man over. But they let him go after someone explained the situation.
Protesters hold line in front of business to stop looters
Undoubtedly there has been way too much violence, looting, and property destruction. Nothing takes away the moral high ground from a movement like seeing a bunch of guys walk out of an electronics store with big-screen TVs in hand.
And in the early days of these protests, the rage was palpable. Cars were torched, businesses were destroyed, and so much property was stolen.
But people are starting to take a stand against that type of chaos.
In Brooklyn, a group of protesters intervened a few days ago when looters and vandals approached a Target store.
The protestors formed a line in front of the store to stop the looters from smashing windows (and stealing store inventory).
FBI asks for evidence of inciting violence. People send videos of cops instead.
Being an activist in the US, you have to have a sense of humor.
So when the FBI asked the public to send them video evidence of protesters inciting violence, they were inundated with videos of police officers being violent.
“The FBI is seeking information and digital media depicting individuals inciting violence during First Amendment protected peaceful demonstrations,” the FBI wrote on its Twitter account.
The FBI’s website said, “If you witness or have witnessed unlawful violent actions, we urge you to submit any information, photos, or videos that could be relevant to the case.”
People responded on Twitter with video of:
- New York City Police ramming protesters with their vehicles,
- Police appearing to aim a smoke grenade launcher at a little boy,
- Police attacking, beating and throwing punches at clearly marked media with cameras,
- Police spraying peaceful protesters with mace unprovoked,
- Police/ National Guard firing pepper bullets at a woman filming from her front porch,
- Police throwing an old man with a cane to the ground.
Michigan Sheriff leads protesters in peaceful march
This is starting to be a bigger trend: police are putting down their tear gas and riot shields, and joining the protesters to peacefully demonstrate for reform.
In one great example of humanity and leadership, Genesee County, Michigan’s sheriff Chris Swanson met a crowd of protesters, and actually took charge to compassionately lead their march through the city.
This is pretty extraordinary. Protests are typically leaderless, and mobs can take on a life of their own.
But Swanson took charge, telling the crowd “I want to make this a parade.” The cops put their weapons down, took their helmets off, and marched together with the protesters… which ensured that (a) the protesters’ voices were still loudly heard, (b) they could march without any threat of violence, and (c) everything remained safe and orderly.
Source: The Daily Bell
May 31st, 2020
On 25th May 2020, an African American man, George Floyd’s death sent a wave of protests all over the United States against racial profiling and police brutality. The protest grew bigger and louder despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Many have taken to online protests in view of the current pandemic caused lockdowns.
Videos of police officers using force to subdue the on-ground protesters and journalists have flooded social media. Some videos show the officers handling tear gas, rubber bullets, batons, and flash-bang grenades. As tension keeps rising, some police officers have come forward in open support of the protestors standing against racism and police brutality.
One Sheriff in Michigan, Chris Swanson, told the protesters that he wanted to transform the ongoing protests into a parade. He then laid down his baton, protective helmet, and joined the crowd. Similar sentiments arose in New Jersey, California, Missouri, and North Dakota.
However, cities in Fargo, Ferguson, and Kansas witnessed the protests go violent despite these few heartwarming moments.
Police Chief in Atlanta, Erika Shields, went viral after she opened her heart to a protesting woman last Friday. She diffused the tense situation by saying that she understood why the protestors were angry. She further acknowledged the right of the protestors to feel scared and voice their opinion against police brutality. Shields also added that she was there to ensure that the protestors get to voice their opinions in a safe and sound manner.
George Floyd, as captured on videos, died after a police officer tried arresting him by kneeling on his neck. Floyd was a 46-years-old Black man and father of two young daughters, 6 and 22 years old. The video footage, that’s gone viral, shows three other police officers standing nearby as the incident took place. Floyd can be heard saying “I can’t breathe.”
All four police officers have been terminated. Derek Chauvin, the white officer seen kneeling on the Black man, has been charged and arrested for third-degree murder.
The ongoing pandemic, economic fallout leading millions to lose their jobs, racism, and racism induced police brutality have fueled protests not just in the U.S, but across the globe.
Two police officers in Kansas City were seen holding a poster arguing to end police brutality. Officers in Fargo were seen holding hands with protestors, in a show of solidarity.
June 1st, 2020
The brother of a man whose death sparked protests and riots across the United States has criticized people using violence in the wake of the death, sending a message that what happened to his brother is being overshadowed by the rampages that started in Minneapolis.
Terrence Floyd, the younger brother of George Floyd, said he was still numb from his brother’s death, which sometimes makes him angry, but he’s refraining from becoming violent in part because that’s not what his brother would have wanted.
The riots are “overshadowing what’s going on,” Floyd said in an interview broadcast on ABC’s “Good Morning America” early Monday.
“He was about peace, he was about unity, but the things that are transpiring now—they may call it unity but it’s destructive unity, it’s not what he was about. It’s not what my brother is about,” Floyd said.
“If you’re angry, it’s OK to be angry, but channel your anger to do something positive or make a change another way because we’ve been down this road already. He would want us to seek justice the way we are, the way we’re trying to do, but channel it another way. The anger, damaging your hometown is not the way he’d want.”
Floyd died on Memorial Day after being apprehended for alleged forgery. Videos that circulated widely online showed a police officer, later identified as Derek Chauvin, kneeling on Floyd’s neck while Floyd said he couldn’t breathe.
Protests erupted in Minneapolis, where Floyd died, and have spread to other cities as people call for police reform. Widespread looting, property destruction, and violence against a host of individuals has taken place at or near the protests.
Terrence Floyd said the fact Floyd’s family is dealing with Floyd’s death by being “positive about it” and seeking justice shows the futility of engaging in violence to try to enact change.
“Why are you out here tearing up your community? Because when you’re finished and turn around and want to go buy something, you done tore it up. So now you messed up your own living arrangements. So just relax. Justice will be served,” he told ABC News, while calling for charges against the other three officers who were at the scene when Floyd was arrested.
Floyd’s girlfriend sounded a similar message last month.
“You can’t fight fire with fire. Everything just burns, and I’ve seen it all day—people hate, they’re hating, they’re hating, they’re mad. And he would not want that,” Coureney Ross said.
“He wouldn’t, he wouldn’t, he wouldn’t. He would give grace—I stand on that today—he would still give grace to those people.”
Follow Zachary on Twitter: @zackstieber
Keith Griffith, Justin Deschamps, Ryan DeLarme
May 30th, 2020
EDITORS NOTE: Bad cops are just a single branch on really gruesome tree, instead of focusing on the branch why not address the root? Prison profiteers, and politicians who signed sweeping crime bills that fortified institutionalized racism maybe?
Saint Paul Mayor Melvin Carter has walked back remarks he made Saturday morning in a press conference, during which he boldly claimed “every single person we arrested last night, I’m told, was from out of state.”
According to Star Tribune reporter Torey Van Oot, the mayor acknowledged Saturday evening that he shared incorrect information with the public earlier in the day: “I take full responsibility for that.”
At the time of the original remarks, Governor Tim Walz (D-MN) made a similar assessment, claiming that the best estimates say about 80% of the people arrested for rioting were from out-of-state. After Carter walked back the remarks, Walz was reportedly pressed on the source for his claim, and gave the following response: “I get a lot of reports from what we’re getting on the streets. Some of this is human intel that comes to us, so we’ll see tonight.”
Asked @GovTimWalz about the estimate that 80% of the demonstrators were from out of town. Do they still think that’s the case? “We’ll find out when this is over.”
“We’ll have a much bigger data set after tonight and then will be able to see what’s happening,” he said.
— Torey Van Oot (@toreyvanoot) May 31, 2020
KARE 11 Investigates, a team of investigative journalists in the Twin Cities region, was the first to cast doubt on the St. Paul mayor’s claim, reporting that a “review of all the arrests made by Minneapolis-based police agencies for rioting, unlawful assembly and burglary-related crimes from Friday to Saturday tells a different story.”
As of 11am CST on Saturday, a sample of data from the Hennepin County Jail’s shows that 86% of those arrested provided a Minnesota address to police. Later in the day, St. Paul released arrest information showing that two-thirds of people arrested since Thursday gave police in-state addresses.
However, the news organization cautions that police have expressed concern about rioters providing false information, and that the data analyzed was based on a “small sample.”
UPDATE: St. Paul released its numbers, showing that of the 18 arrested since Thursday, 12 are from Minnesota.
Find the story here: https://t.co/xZlulYVVyC
— Brandon Stahl (@b_stahl) May 30, 2020
“The number of arrests we’ve made is a very, very small percent of the people who are out there causing problems,” Steve Linders, a St. Paul police spokesman, told the Pioneer Press on Saturday. “We’ve been focused on protecting people and firefighters so they can protect property. I don’t think you can look at 18 people and say it reflects the total number of people out there causing problems.”
(Keith Griffith) President Donald Trump has blamed antifa and the ‘radical left’ as protests over the death of George Floyd devolved into violence nationwide, after the governor of Minnesota suggested that foreign influences, white supremacists and drug cartels are the fueling chaos.
- Trump blamed antifa and radical leftists for violence in cities across the country on Friday
- Minnesota Governor Tim Walz earlier suggested that foreign and extremist influences are fueling chaos
- Walz hinted that white supremacists and drug cartels may be instigating the violence
- He said the riots resemble a ‘military operation’ and he is considering asking for Pentagon assistance.
- Said that widespread arson and looting made a ‘mockery’ of Floyd’s death and is an attack on civil society
- Walz called for full mobilization of the state’s National Guard for the first time in the state’s history
- Protests devolved into chaos and violence in at least 30 cities across the country on Friday night
- Federal protective officer in California and protester in Detroit were shot dead overnight
- White House was besieged by hundreds of demonstrators attempting to break through Secret Service lines
‘It’s ANTIFA and the Radical Left. Don’t lay the blame on others!’ Trump said in a tweet on Saturday, referring to the militant far-left movement, short for ‘anti-fascist’, that is known for violence.
On Friday night, widespread looting and arson continued in Minneapolis and nearby St. Paul, in defiance of curfews there, and protests spilled into violence in 30 cities, as a federal agent in California and a protester in Detroit were shot dead.
Echoing the president, Attorney General Bill Barr said on Saturday that ‘the voices of peaceful protest are being hijacked by radical elements.’
‘Groups of outside radicals and agitators are exploiting the situation to pursue their own separate and violent agenda,’ Barr said in an on-camera statement. ‘In many places it appears the violence is planned, organized and driven by anarchic and far-left extremist groups using antifa-like tactics.’
‘It is a federal crime to cross state lines or use interstate facilities to incite or participate in violent rioting and we will enforce those laws,’ he added, saying that the FBI, US Marshals, DEA, ATF and U.S. Attorney’s Offices would fully support local and state law enforcement in restoring order and cracking down on violence.
President Donald Trump has blamed antifa and the ‘radical left’ as protests over the death of George Floyd devolved into violence nationwide, with protests in 30 cities that turned to looting, arson and vandalism
Los Angeles: A protester breaks a window of a business after protests over George Floyd’s death turned to violence
Oakland, California: People investigate a vandalized Mercedes-Benz dealership on Friday after arson and looting broke out
St Paul, Minnesota: A protester feeds a fire with copy paper inside a Office Depot after looters ransacked the interior, Friday
Minneapolis: People survey the damage along Lake St. near S. 27th Ave. as a fire burns to the east on Saturday
Echoing the president, Attorney General Bill Barr said on Saturday that ‘the voices of peaceful protest are being hijacked by radical elements’ including ‘anarchic and far-left extremist groups using antifa-like tactics’
Earlier in the day, Minnesota Governor Tim Walz suggested domestic terrorists or foreign influences might be subverting peaceful protests and turning them to violence.
Walz said the riots in Minneapolis had begun to resemble a ‘military operation’ and that he was actively weighing whether to accept military and intelligence assistance from The Pentagon.
‘Last night is a mockery of pretending that this is about George Floyd’s death, or inequities, or historical traumas to our communities of color,’ said Walz, a Democrat, at a press conference.
‘The situation in Minneapolis is no longer in any way about the murder of George Floyd, it is about attacking civil society, instilling fear, and disrupting our great cities,’ Walz said.
‘As you saw this expand across the United States, and you start to see whether it be domestic terrorism, whether it be ideological extremists to fan the group, or whether it be international destabilization of how our country works,’ he continued.
On Friday night, Walz hinted that white supremacists and drug cartels may be fueling violence or taking advantage of the chaos in the rioting.
Pressed by reporters on rumors that white supremacists were secretly infiltrating Black Lives Matter protests and instigating violence, Walz said: ‘my suspicions and what I’ve seen on this, yes.’
‘It gets worse than that,’ Walz said. ‘The cartels, who are wondering if there was a break in their drug transmissions, are trying to take advantage of the chaos. That’s why this situation is on a federal level.’Distraught Minnesota governor laments ‘chaos’ in Minneapolis
Minnesota Governor Tim Walz has called for full mobilization of the state’s National Guard, as he suggested that foreign and extremist influences are fueling chaos
A man holds up a sign near a burning building in Minneapolis on Friday night as the city descended into total chaos
On Friday night, widespread looting and arson continued in Minneapolis (above) and nearby St. Paul, in defiance of curfews there, and protests spilled into violence in 30 cities
‘The situation in Minneapolis is no longer in any way about the murder of George Floyd, it is about attacking civil society, instilling fear, and disrupting our great cities,’ Walz said
Walz said at his Saturday press conference that ‘protection of citizens and property is our top priority, and maintaining and restoring civil order on the streets.’
‘The tactics and approach that we have taken have evolved and need to evolve,’ he said.
Floyd, 46, died on Monday in Minneapolis after bystander video captured a white police officer pressing a knee on the handcuffed black man’s neck for at least seven minutes.
The officer, Derek Chauvin, was fired from the force and has been charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter.
In response to Friday’s violence, Walz called for the full mobilization of the Minnesota National Guard for the first time in the state’s history.
The Minnesota Army National Guard is composed of approximately 11,000 Guardsmen.
Around 500 National Guard soldiers have already been mobilized in and around Minneapolis, where an officer faces charges over Floyd’s death.
A protester reacts standing in front of a burning building set on fire during a demonstration in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on Friday night, over the death of George Floyd
A looter carries goods out of a ransacked business in Minneapolis on Friday night as anarchy was unleashed nationwide
A looter plunders a business in Minnesota on Friday night. The state’s governor is fully mobilizing the National Guard
Looters ransack and Office Depot in Minneapolis on Friday, when the city was overwhelmed by violence and chaos
Fired police officer Derek Chauvin was arrested and charged on Friday with third-degree murder and manslaughter.
Walz said that on Friday night, every resource in Minneapolis was deployed to respond to widespread looting, arson, vandalism and violence, and that the forces in the city would be expanded ‘exponentially’ by nightfall on Saturday.
The chaos in Minneapolis was mirrored in cities across the nation on Friday night, as National Guard units were called into Atlanta and put on standby in Washington DC, and two people were fatally shot in separate incidents in California and Detroit.
In Oakland, California, two officers with the Federal Protective Service – a part of Homeland Security created to protect government facilities – were shot, one fatally, in confrontations with protesters. Police are investigating.
Oakland, California: Looters rob a Target store as protesters face off against police on Friday. A federal protective officer was shot dead in Oakland in a face-off with protesters
Oakland: A damaged vehicle sits on its roof during a demonstration on Saturday
Oakland: Graffiti reading ‘kill cops’ is seen in Oakland on Friday, where one federal officer was shot dead
Oakland: Protesters smash the window of a Chase bank during protests in Oakland, California, yesterday
Detroit: Demonstrators run from the police during a protest in the city of Detroit, Michigan, on Friday
Detroit: Riot police officers detain a man during a demonstration on Friday. A 19-year-old protester was killed when an unknown subject fired into the crowd. Police were not involved in the shooting
Detroit: Police detain and arrest protesters during a series of confrontations in the Michigan city last night
Meanwhile, a 19-year-old protester was shot dead in Detroit last night when an unknown subject fired into the crowd.
Police said the man was killed after shots were fired at a crowd of people near Detroit’s Greektown entertainment district last night with dozens of protesters out on the streets, but officers were not involved in the shooting.
The suspect pulled up to the crowd in a Dodge Durango and fired shots at around 11.30pm, and the man was pronounced dead in hospital. No details about who fired the shots were immediately available, police said.
In Brooklyn, a police van was set ablaze and a mob tried to storm the 88th police precinct, and besieged the 84th precinct.
Video posted to social media showed New York City officers using batons and shoving protesters as they took people into custody and cleared streets.
One video showed on officer slam a woman to the ground as he walked past her in the street.
Demonstrators rocked a police van, set it ablaze, scrawled graffiti across its charred wreckage and set it on fire again as officers retreated. Blocks away, protesters used a club to batter another police vehicle.
Brooklyn: Firefighters work to contain the flames from a New York City Police Department van ablaze on Friday night
Brooklyn: Protesters gather during a ‘Black Lives Matter’ protest near Barclays Center on Friday
Brooklyn: Thousands gathered near the Barclays Center in outrage after George Floyd, an unarmed black man, died while being arrested by a police officer in Minneapolis who pinned him to the ground with his knee
Brooklyn: NYPD Officers spray mace into the crowd of protesters gathered at Barclays Center on Friday
Brooklyn: A vandalized New York Police Department vehicle is seen on Saturday the morning after a protest
‘There will be a full review of what happened tonight,’ New York mayor Bill de Blasio tweeted, referring to the Brooklyn protest. ‘We don’t ever want to see another night like this.’
The NYPD said numerous officers were injured, including one whose tooth was knocked out.
In Portland, Oregon, protesters broke into police headquarters and authorities said they lit a fire inside.
Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler declared a state of emergency and imposed an 8pm curfew on Saturday night, calling the violence ‘disgusting’.
‘ENOUGH,’ Wheeler wrote in a tweet on Friday night. ‘I had to leave Portland today because my mother is dying. I am with family to prepare for her final moments. This is hard, this is personal, but so is watching my city get destroyed. I’m coming back NOW.’
‘Burning buildings with people inside, stealing from small and large businesses, threatening and harassing reporters. All in the middle of a pandemic where people have already lost everything,’ Wheeler continued.
‘This isn’t calling for meaningful change in our communities, this is disgusting.’
Portland: Policemen walk enveloped by teargas in Portland, Oregon, yesterday as violence escalated in the downtown area
Portland: Police walk through fire and smoke as they push back violent protesters on Friday night
Portland: A fire burns in an office on Friday night during protests in response to the Minneapolis death of George Floyd
Portland: A police officer is silhouetted with a burning car seen in rear, as violence escalated on Friday
Portland: People march from the George Floyd vigil at Peninsula Park towards the Justice Center downtown in Portland Friday
Georgia’s governor Brian Kemp tweeted that up to 500 members of the Guard would deploy immediately ‘to protect people & property in Atlanta’.
Some demonstrators smashed police cars and spray-painted the iconic logo sign at CNN headquarters in Atlanta.
At least three officers were hurt and there were multiple arrests, Atlanta police spokesman Carlos Campos said, as protesters shot at officers with BB guns and threw bricks, bottles and knives.
Atlanta officials said crews were unable to reach a fire at Del Frisco’s restaurant in the Buckhead area several miles north because of protesters there.
At a press conference, Atlanta mayor Ms Bottoms said: ‘This is not in the spirit of Martin Luther King, Jr.
‘You are disgracing the life of George Floyd and every other person who has been killed in this country.’
Bottoms was flanked by Dr King’s daughter, Bernice King, and the rappers TI and Killer Mike.
‘We have to be better than burning down our own homes. Because if we lose Atlanta, what have we got?’ said Killer Mike, crying as he spoke.
Atlanta: Demonstrators paint on the CNN logo as the besieged the network’s headquarters on Friday
Atlanta: A man wearing a ‘Purge’ mask runs in front of a burning police car during a protest on Friday in Atlanta, Georgia
Atlanta: A cop car burns during a protest against the death in Minneapolis police custody of George Floyd
Atlanta: Demonstrators mass as a cop car burns and protests turn to violence on Friday
In Washington DC, police and Secret Service agents were out in force around the White House before dozens of demonstrators gathered across the street in Lafayette Square chanting, ‘I can’t breathe.’
‘The professionally managed so-called ‘protesters’ at the White House had little to do with the memory of George Floyd. They were just there to cause trouble,’ President Donald Trump tweeted Saturday morning from the White House.
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The angry crowd at the White House grappled with Secret Service agents and attempted to breach their line of barricades surrounding the executive residence.
The crowd of hundreds chanted ‘No justice, no peace’ and ‘Say his name: George Floyd.’Protesters confront police outside White House as riots continue
A protester holds his hands up as police officers enter Lafayette Park during a demonstration against the death in Minneapolis police custody of black man George Floyd
The Secret Service form a line outside the White House as agitators attempt to breach their barricade during a protest over the death of George Floyd
Demonstrators outside the White House grapple with Secret Service agents as they try to tear down barricades surrounding the executive residence
Protesters wield a barricade after grappling with Secret Service agents at the White House
As some in the crowd at the White House grew more aggressive, police deployed pepper spray to keep them back and maintain a perimeter.
Fellow demonstrators came to the aid of protesters who were sprayed, their eyes red and puffy, offering bottles of milk and water to splash on their faces.
By the end of the night, the protesters had stolen about 15 barricades and left police to form a line of officers holding riot shields to keep back the swelling crowd.
At one point, the protesters were able to gain control of an officer´s shield and set it ablaze before trying to toss it back at the line of officers. Police used a smoke device to quickly stop them.
The protest went on for hours before police declared the gathering ‘unlawful’ and ordered everyone to leave Lafayette Square, a seven-acre public park located directly north of the White House.
Richmond, Virginia: A burned out Richmond City bus is loaded onto a tow truck Saturday after it was burned overnight
Dozens of officers pushed forward with their shields and fired off streams of pepper spray at protesters.
In Virginia’s capital, a police cruiser was set on fire outside Richmond police headquarters, and a city transit spokeswoman said a bus set ablaze was ‘a total loss.’
Windows were smashed and fires were set, and buildings and cars were spray-painted with anti-police graffiti.
Bus service will also be delayed Saturday in Richmond and possibly canceled for the safety of staff and riders.
Authorities in Minneapolis had hoped Chauvin’s arrest on Friday afternoon would allay public anger, but the violence only seemed to spread.
In Houston, where Floyd grew up before he moved to Minneapolis for a new start in life, huge protests also devolved into rioting.
The demonstration, which was organized by Black Lives Matter, saw thousands of protesters process up Main Street to City Hall shouting ‘can’t breathe’ and ‘enough is enough’.
The initially peaceful protest took a violent turn two hours in after a man attempted to punch organizer Ashton Woods as he made a speech.
Houston: Protesters march during a demonstration over the death of George Floyd on Friday
Houston: Black Lives Matter protesters rally in honor of George Floyd at Discovery Green in Houston, Friday
Houston: Police officers try to calm down the crowd after a physical altercation that broke out during demonstrations
Although the scuffle was swiftly broken up by police, some demonstrators moved away from the main protest and attempted to rush and occupy the I-45 freeway.
Others in the throng chanted: ‘Justice for George’, ‘Black Lives Matter’ and ‘We want change’.
According to the group’s Facebook page, at least 1,800 people turned out, although there appeared to be far more.
One protester described the death of Floyd, who lived in Houston most of his life, as a ‘modern day lynching’.
Rebecca Bozeman told DailyMail.com: ‘Enough is enough. The people have to come out and do their part or nothing will change.
‘It’s been 400 years and it’s still happening. We saw a modern-day lynching. It should not be happening.’
Her friend Sylvia Clinton added: ‘Call it what it is. He was lynched. It was a modern-day lynching.’
Floyd, who had worked security for a nightclub, was arrested for allegedly using counterfeit money at a store to buy cigarettes on Monday evening.
Bail has been set at $500,000 for Chauvin, but it was unclear on Saturday whether he remained in custody. Hennepin County jail records showed no inmate of that name. He faces up to 25 years in prison if convicted.
May 29th, 2020
President Donald Trump promised military support to Minnesota as rioters broke windows and destroyed property in its largest city, culminating with the burning of a police station after officers abandoned it.
Trump said in a statement that he cannot “stand back & watch this happen to a great American City, Minneapolis.”
Accusing Democratic Mayor Jacob Frey of failing to show leadership, Trump said officials must “bring the City under control, or I will send in the National Guard & get the job done right.”
Told of Trump’s tweet, Frey said early Friday: “Weakness is refusing to take responsibility for your own actions. Weakness is pointing your finger at somebody else during a time of crisis.”
“Donald Trump knows nothing about the strength of Minneapolis. We are strong as hell. Is this a difficult time period? Yes. But you better be damn sure that we’re going to get through this,” he added.
The president in a second missive described rioters and protesters as “THUGS,” alleging they were “dishonoring the memory of George Floyd, and I won’t let that happen.”
Trump spoke to Minnesota Gov. 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,” he added.
Around the same time, the Minnesota National Guard began sending more than 500 soldiers to Minneapolis, nearby St. Paul, and surrounding communities.
“Our mission is to protect life, preserve property and the right to peacefully demonstrate. A key objective is to ensure fire departments are able to respond to calls,” it said in a statement.
Members joined police officers Friday in facing off again protesters.
Walz, a Democrat, signed an executive order activating the guard at 4 p.m.
“Our troops are trained to protect life, preserve property and ensure people’s right to peacefully demonstrate,” Maj. Gen. Jon Jensen, Minnesota National Guard adjutant general, said in a statement.
Floyd died earlier this month while in police custody. A viral video showed a police officer, Derek Chauvin, with a knee on Floyd’s neck as the man complained he couldn’t breathe.
Four officers involved in the situation were fired and are under investigation by local and federal officials. Frey is among those calling for the arrest of Chauvin, but prosecutors said Thursday night that the case will be done “right.”
“Those folks who know me in the African community know I will do my very level best. But I will not rush justice, because justice cannot be rushed,” Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman told reporters.
Democratic Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison told CNN Friday he expects charges against all four officers.
“I hope they’re soon. But that is the prerogative of another prosecuting authority. They are trying to be careful. They are trying to make sure their case is strong and airtight,” Ellison said.
Rioters turned to violence this week in the wake of Floyd’s death, smashing windows, confronting officers, and trashing and looting businesses, many of which are small and locally owned. Video footage showed groups of armed men protecting various businesses from the mayhem.
In a shocking video captured by reporters and others at the scene, Minneapolis police officers abandoned the 3rd Precinct station late Thursday. Rioters soon entered the building, setting fires and destroying equipment.
Just minutes later, the Minnesota National Guard said it was deploying soldiers.
Frey said in a statement that city officials were working with the Minneapolis Fire Department, which was blocked from responding to some fires, including the one at the precinct.
“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,” he said.
Walz said that Floyd’s death “should lead to justice and systemic change, not more death and destruction.”
“As Governor, I will always defend the right to protest,” he added. “It is how we express pain, process tragedy, and create change. That is why I am answering our local leaders’ request for Minnesota National Guard assistance to protect peaceful demonstrators, neighbors, and small businesses in Minnesota.”
Follow Zachary on Twitter: @zackstieber