Protests, looting and tear gas: The US city of Minneapolis is in turmoil after the death of an African American in a police operation. Images in US media showed looted and burning shops, the police used tear gas, pepper spray and batons against rioters.
The demonstrators did not stop at a police station either and broke into the building. There were protests in other US cities, including New York, Colorado and Phoenix. According to media reports, shots were also fired in Denver. According to the police, there should have been no injuries.
Protests outside the burning police station in Minneapolis
The death of the African American George Floyd, documented on video, had previously triggered serious riots in Minneapolis. The governor of the US state of Minnesota, Tim Walz, had mobilized the National Guard. His order stated that peaceful demonstrations were still allowed.
President Trump threatens rioters
The Federal Police FBI and the local public prosecutor’s office said in a joint statement that the investigation into the case of the dead Floyd and a possible charge will now be given top priority. US President Donald Trump had previously promised a quick and thorough investigation. Trump assured on Twitter that justice would be done. He called Floyd’s death very sad and tragic.
At the same time, the US president threatened the violent riots with consequences. He spoke to Governor Walz and told him that the military was on his side. “If there is trouble we will take control, but when the looting begins, the shooting begins,” Trump tweeted. Twitter again issued a warning to the tweet because, according to the company, it glorified violence.
The trigger for the anger and outrage of the protesters was a ten-minute long video of Floyd’s death, which spread like wildfire on Facebook: A white police officer pressed his knee to Floyd’s neck for several minutes, who kept pleading for help before he did lost consciousness. He died shortly afterwards in a nearby hospital. The four police officers involved were released.
Again and again police violence against blacks
Police violence against black people occurs again and again in the USA. The latest incident is reminiscent of the case of the African American Eric Garner, which was also recorded on video. The then 43-year-old was thrown to the ground by New York police officers in 2014. They pressed his breath away, and later he died in the hospital.
Most recently, a clip from the state of Georgia caused a sensation in the USA – a disturbing cell phone video showed how the black jogger Ahmaud Arbery was apparently attacked by white men and then shot. After the crime in February, it had taken two months – until the video was released – before the first arrests were made.
hf / ww (rtr, dpa, afp)