Heated protests have erupted throughout the city of Minneapolis, Minnesota following the death of George Floyd.
Floyd was killed on Monday evening after a police officer pressed his knee into the back of his neck for nine minutes. Video of the killing went viral in the wee hours of Tuesday morning before becoming a national story.
Demonstrations began peacefully on Wednesday, but we’re quickly disrupted when police officers used tear gas and rubber bullets to break up crowds. Citizens returned to the streets peacefully on Wednesday evening, but things quickly escalated. Reports of looting and alleged arson remained rampant through the night.
Standing out among the crowd, the city’s local Target store was seemingly hit the hardest during Thursday’s events. Local demonstrators used Twitter to raise concerns over the store’s alleged support of the Minneapolis Police Department. Some went as far as to claim that the store refused to sell certain customers milk to remedy the tear gas used on Tuesday night. Target has not responded to these most recent events.
In light of these troubling circumstances, Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey has urged residents to remain calm.
Breaking: There are multiple fires ongoing in Minneapolis as rioting and looting continues in the southern part of the city. The mayor has requested for the national guard to help secure the area. pic.twitter.com/xn5WSF8JNC
— PM Breaking News (@PMBreakingNews) May 28, 2020
“I’m imploring our city, imploring our community, imploring every one of us to keep the peace. Let’s honor George Floyd’s memory,” he said.
However, residents have called out Frey’s handling of the police department in recent years. The Star-Tribune reports that the force became heavily militarized in 2014. Specifically, the department obtained 8,500 pieces of military-grade equipment from the Pentagon’s 1033 Program.
The National Guard has now been called in to deescalate demonstrations. More details will be added to this story as it develops.