Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey is seeking help from the National Guard to control a wave of violent riots across the state, following the police killing of unarmed black civilian George Floyd.
Following widespread looting, a shooting, and police using tear gas on Wednesday night, Frey has asked for the state’s National Guard to be deployed.
The mayor said he has spoken with the governor’s office “several times” about the riots, and has also requested the help of state police.
Frey said he has been in touch with the governor’s office and has requested assistance from the state. “We’ve spoken several times. We’re receiving assistance in the form of state patrol. I have requested the National Guard as well.”
“I cannot risk the safety of innocent people and so that is what I’ve been sworn to uphold and that is what I am dedicated to do,” Frey told a local NBC affiliate. “We can have both things. We can have peaceful demonstrations, but I also have to ensure the safety of everyone in the city.”
Governor Tim Waltz tweeted on Wednesday night that protests had created an “extremely dangerous situation,” and advised citizens to avoid certain areas in the state.
The situation near Lake Street and Hiawatha in Minneapolis has evolved into an extremely dangerous situation. For everyone’s safety, please leave the area and allow firefighters and paramedics to get to the scene.
Videos from the city show scenes of chaos, with rioters looting and burning entire buildings to the ground.EditDelete
Minneapolis is burning down. No law enforcement anywhere. BLM and Antifa run the city today.The police and mayor gave up. #Minneapolis#BlackLivesMatterpic.twitter.com/6zWvmDBpiU
Housing complex construction site on 29th/26th is on the verge of collapse. Heat is so intense you can feel blocks away. pic.twitter.com/sXbmQyzHCz
There have also been reports of a homicide as police are investigating an alleged looter being shot by a pawn shop owner.
Businesses including Target and AutoZone were reportedly looted, and Minneapolis police have been supported by nearby St. Paul officers.
The protests, which the mayor says began “peacefully,” started following the death of local black man Floyd in a case of suspected police brutality. Video of the incident shows an officer with a knee on Floyd’s neck, suffocating him as he struggles to breathe. Floyd was unarmed.
The mayor has called for the officer to be charged, saying if he had been a man of color, he’d “already be behind bars.”
If most people, particularly people of color, had done what a police officer did late Monday, they’d already be behind bars. That’s why today I’m calling on Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman to charge the arresting officer in this case.
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