Minnesota Governor Tim Walz has signed an Executive Order activating the National Guard to respond to the growing violence surrounding the protests and riots following the death of George Floyd.
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The governor declared a peacetime emergency in both St. Paul and Minneapolis and orders:
1. The Adjutant General will order to state active duty on May 28, 2020, the personnel, equipment, and facilities needed to support emergency operations and response.
2. The Adjutant General is authorized to procure the goods and services needed to accomplish the mission.
3. The Department of Public Safety’s Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management will continue to coordinate the provision of on-site support and assistance to affected local government and assess the need for supplementary emergency assistance.
4. State agencies, in cooperation with appropriate federal agencies, will provide assistance to local units of government as they respond to and recover from this emergency.
5. The costs of this assistance shall be paid from the general fund as allowed by Minnesota Statutes 2019, section 192.52.
Minneapolis’ police chief on Thursday acknowledged his department had contributed to a “deficit of hope” in the city after the — and he and other officials called for calm following a night of destructive protests.
“I am absolutely sorry for the pain, devastation and trauma Mr. Floyd’s death has left on his family, his loved ones,” Minneapolis and the world, Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo said in a news conference.
I know there is currently a deficit of hope in our city … and I know our department has contributed to that deficit as a whole,” Arradondo said.
In Minneapolis, protests transitioned to rioting and looting south of downtown, with people smashing their way into stores and setting businesses and other buildings ablaze.
There was more looting Thursday in St. Paul, the state capital, next door.
Gov. Tim Walz activated the Minnesota National Guard to watch over the demonstrations.
Other states saw protests too. There were gatherings in Denver and New York. At the latter protest, about 40 people were arrested and several officers were injured, a law enforcement official told CNN.
The charges range from obstruction of governmental administration to criminal possession of a weapon, the official added.
On Wednesday night, Minneapolis’ second day of protests transitioned to rioting and looting south of downtown, with people smashing their way into stores and setting businesses and other buildings ablaze.
One of Floyd’s brothers cried Thursday morning as he said his family wants protests to be peaceful, but stressed people are struggling with seeing another black man die following a police encounter, this one over the passing of an allegedly counterfeit $20 bill at a store.
“I want everybody to be peaceful right now, but people are torn and hurt, because they’re tired of seeing black men die,” George Floyd’s brother, Philonise Floyd.
“These officers (involved in George’s arrest) need to be arrested right now … and held accountable about everything because these people want justice right now,” he said.A man was fatally shot overnight near the protests, police said early Thursday. One person was arrested, and police said they’re investigating the nature of the incident.
Fires eventually broke out at businesses in the area, including an AutoZone. Flames lit up a building under construction, one floor eventually collapsing.At a nearby Target, video shows people taking cartloads of goods and loading them into their cars.
People also raided a grocery store. On Thursday morning its exterior glass lay shattered and the floor was littered with groceries as a interior fire sprinkler system sprayed water.
An unspecified number of police officers and other people suffered minor injuries in the protests, Arradondo said, without elaborating.
The unrest followed shock and anger that spread through communities across the country as bystander video of Floyd’s last moments alive began circulating on social media.
The 46-year-old man was arrested Monday evening after, police said, officers were called to investigate alleged forgery at a corner store called Cup Foods. Mahmoud Abumayyaleh, an owner of the store, told CNN a staff member called police to report someone using a fake $20 bill.
Police arrived, and Floyd, a suspect in the incident, was handcuffed and pinned on the ground. As he pleaded that he couldn’t breathe, a police officer held him down with a knee on his neck. Three other officers also were at the scene.
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