During violent protests over the death of a black man in a brutal police operation in Minneapolis, protesters stormed and set fire to a police building. This is reported by the “New York Times” and the Sender CNN. According to the New York Times, the protesters broke windows and broke barriers, and fireworks were fired.
The police station had been evacuated, the broadcaster CBS Minnesota reported, citing a police report. “Protesters entered the building by force and started several fires,” the broadcaster quoted from the message. The exact location of the riots is confusing.
Trump threatens: “When the looting begins, the shooting begins”
Minneapolis Fire Chief John Fruetel told CNN, “I know they tried to set fire to the front door area of this building.” He does not yet know whether the fire has spread in the building. Firefighters had repeatedly had to fight fires this and previous nights and were sometimes attacked.
US President Donald Trump announced that he will crack down on violent criminals. He criticized the Mayor of Minneapolis, Jacob Frey, as “very weak”, who showed “a complete lack of leadership”. Trump threatened: “When the looting begins, the shooting begins”.
Mayor Frey rejected the criticism: “Weakness is pointing the finger at someone else in a crisis. Donald J. Trump knows nothing about the strength of Minneapolis. We are damn strong.” Frey, who is a member of a party affiliated with the Democrats, said, “You can be damned sure we’ll get through this.”
Former star quarterback Colin Kaepernick himself defended the massive protests. “If politeness leads to death, revolt is the only logical reaction,” wrote the 32-year-old on Twitter: “We have the right to fight back! Rest in power, George Floyd.”
Kaepernick had become a symbol of the protests against police violence, especially against dark-skinned US citizens, but has not found a job in the US professional football league NFL since being released by the San Francisco 49ers in early 2017. He added: “The calls for peace will rain down and if they do they will fall on deaf ears because their violence has created that opposition.”
There were protests against police violence in many other cities as well. In Louisville, Kentucky, hundreds took to the streets over Breonna Taylor, a 26-year-old paramedic – the African-American woman was shot dead by police in her home in March.
Report of people injured by gunfire
According to media reports, shots were fired during the protests. The AP news agency reported at least seven people injured, including one in critical condition, citing the police. There have been several arrests. An official confirmation for this information is not yet available.
According to media reports, shots were also fired in Denver in the US state of Colorado. According to the police, no injuries were initially reported. In Columbus, Ohio, according to the New York Times, numerous demonstrators tried in vain to get into the parliament building. In front of the police building in Minneapolis, dozens of demonstrators shouted “No justice, no peace”, the Washington Post reported. After the death of George Floyd, there had already been serious riots in Minneapolis.
The trigger for the anger and outrage of the protesters was a ten-minute long video of Floyd’s death that spread like wildfire on social media: a white police officer pressed his knee to the neck of the 46-year-old, who repeatedly pleaded for help before he passed out. The African American said repeatedly, “I can’t breathe.” He died shortly afterwards in a nearby hospital. The four police officers involved have been released, but have not yet been arrested or charged.
According to the New York Times, the argument on the streets of Minneapolis intensified after prosecutors said they had not yet decided whether to prosecute the officer who held his knee on Floyd’s neck for about eight minutes.
The emergency services were thrown at. The governor of the US state of Minnesota has meanwhile mobilized the National Guard: Tim Walz declared a state of emergency for the city and surrounding areas. Peaceful demonstrations are still allowed.