• Thomas Parker

Violent protests erupt in Minneapolis following killing of man in police custody

This week, violent protests and looting erupted in Minneapolis following the death of a black man who was killed by police while in custody.

A police officer knelt on George Floyd's neck as he lay on the ground, in handcuffs, following his arrest. A viral cell phone video showed a crowd pleading with the officers to stop kneeling on Floyd, and Floyd saying, "Please, I can't breathe."

The four officers involved with Floyd's arrest were fired, and Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison said that he expects "there will be charges" against officers.

A promise of justice has not stopped arson and looting, however. For the third night in a row, rioters took to the streets of Minneapolis and were largely unchecked as they burned down a police station as well as several surrounding businesses, vandalized automobiles and buildings, and looted stores.

Protests broke out elsewhere in the United States as well this week: Wednesday in Los Angeles, Thursday in Denver, and in Phoenix, protesters clashed with police in riot gear. Agitators in Manhattan were arrested at a "violent rolling protest" that caused the hospitalizations of several police officers.

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey ordered a retreat by police following the burning of a police station, and no emergency services could be seen for several hours during the night.

"As situations started to escalate more and more, as we saw more and more people breach the perimeter, ... it became obvious to me that safety was at risk," Frey said at a press conference.

The Minnesota National Guard announced that they activated 500 soldiers and sent them to St. Paul, Minneapolis, and surrounding communities.

"Our mission is to protect life, preserve prosperity and the right to peacefully demonstrate. A key objective is to ensure fire departments are able to respond to calls," the National Guard said.

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