News & Politics

[VIDEO] Minneapolis Police Precinct on Fire, Police Abandon Area, as Riots Over Death of George Floyd Escalate

(Image credit Julio Rosas for Townhall)

For the third night in a row, protests and riots rocked Minneapolis in response to the death of George Floyd at the hands of a police officer. Stores were once again looted and buildings set on fire as protesters demanded justice for Floyd’s death. The Fifth Precinct police building is currently burning and authorities are warning of a possible gas leak in the area.

Floyd, who was suspected of forgery, died after a police officer inexplicably pinned him to the ground with his knee, holding him down as he begged for mercy. The officer remained in that position until Floyd, who was unarmed and subdued with handcuffs at the time, became lifeless. He was pronounced dead at the hospital. Four police officers were summarily fired after video of the horrific, indefensible act was made public.

Julio Rosas, from PJ Media’s sister site Townhall, is on the scene in Minneapolis. His tweets show the violence escalating throughout the night and a very dangerous situation developing.

Governor Tim Walz has ordered 500 National Guard troops to the area and Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey has declared a state of emergency in the city. City officials warned that a gas line may have been cut at the third precinct, which could turn the city into a powder keg as rioters set off fireworks in the area and thousands of protesters congregate around the burning police station.

Police have abandoned the area, leaving their building to burn as protesters celebrate its destruction.

Update 1:36 a.m.: President Trump has weighed in on the riots:

In addition to Minneapolis, there are ongoing protests in St. Paul, Minn., Memphis, Tenn., Louisville, Ky., Denver, Colo., Columbus, Ohio, and Los Angeles California.

Update 2:21 a.m.: Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey told reporters that “the symbolism of a building cannot outweigh the importance of life, our officers, or the public. We could not risk serious injury to anyone and we will continue to patrol the third precinct entirely. We will continue to do our jobs in that area. Brick and mortar is not as important as life.”

Asked what the plan was, Frey said, “There is a lot of pain and anger right now in our city I understand that. Our entire city recognizes that. What we have seen over the past several hours and past couple of nights in terms of looting is unacceptable. Our communities cannot and will not tolerate it. These are businesses, these are community institutions that we need. These are banks that people rely on to get cash. Grocery stores that people rely on to get food. These are pharmacies that people rely on to get medicine. They are essential to our community. We need to make sure that they are protected, and so we are working with our officers right now.”

“We are doing absolutely everything we can to keep the peace,” he added, saying the decision to abandon the third precinct “comes down to public safety.”

This is a developing story. 

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