Minneapolis, the largest city in the American state of Minnesota, recorded looting, fires, depredations and even a death by firearm on Wednesday (27), the second night followed by protests over the death of George Floyd, a 46-year-old black man. years old who was killed in police custody this Monday (25).
What's going on in Minneapolis?
The protests started peacefully on Tuesday afternoon (26), but quickly got out of hand. On that day there were clashes between police and protesters. Police officers threw rubber bullets, tear gas and moral grenades at some protesters, who in turn were seen smashing police car windows and throwing stones, according to American media reports.
On Wednesday, protests against Floyd's death continued and the violence escalated overnight. According to local police, dozens of stores were looted and / or set on fire mainly in the area of Minnehaha Avenue and E. Lake Street in southeastern Minneapolis. Five people were shot and one died after the owner of a pawn shop opened fire on a man he believed to be robbing his store. It is not yet known how many people were arrested.
Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey asked for help from the state National Guard to deal with the protests, Fox News reported. "Please, Minneapolis," Frey told the Star Tribune just before midnight on Wednesday. "We cannot let tragedies lead to more tragedies. Please help us to keep the peace."
Some protesters gathered outside the home of Derek Chauvin, the policeman who arrested and smothered Floyd with his knee. According to the Star Tribune, red paint was poured into the driveway and the door was marked with the word "killer". Chauvin was fired after the incident with Floyd, along with three other policemen.
- Police disperse protesters with pepper spray | PHOTO: Stephen Maturen / Getty Images / AFP
- Target store was looted in Minneapolis | PHOTO: Stephen Maturen / Getty Images / AFP
- An injured woman is carried by other protesters during clashes with the police | PHOTO: Stephen Maturen / Getty Images / AFP
- Protesters confront the police outside the 3rd Police Station | PHOTO: Stephen Maturen / Getty Images / AFP
- Firefighters work to put out a fire at a factory near the 3rd Police Station | PHOTO: Stephen Maturen / Getty Images / AFP
- Depredation in front of a Target store in Minneapolis | PHOTO: Stephen Maturen / Getty Images / AFP
- Police disperse protesters with pepper spray | PHOTO: Kerem Yucel / AFP
- Police remove barricades made by protesters | PHOTO: Kerem Yucel / AFP
- 3rd Police Station, on May 27, 2020 in Minneapolis | PHOTO: Stephen Maturen / Getty Images / AFP
- Big fire near the Third Police Station | PHOTO: Stephen Maturen / Getty Images / AFP
- Policemen on the roof of the Third Police Station | Photo: Kerem Yucel / AFP
- Shawanda Hill (D), George Floyd's girlfriend
Why are people protesting?
In Los Angeles, California, and Memphis, Tennessee, hundreds of protesters also took to the streets to demonstrate against the death of George Floyd. In Memphis, at least two people were arrested, CNN reported, but both cities did not register scenes of violence like those in Minneapolis.
The protests began after the release of a video of the police action that ended with the death of Floyd, a 46-year-old black man who worked as a security guard at a restaurant. In the scene, a police officer appears forcing his knee on the victim's neck, who warns several times that he is unable to breathe. Floyd was choked for five minutes and, already passed out, was taken in an ambulance to a medical center. He died shortly thereafter, according to a medical report.
Minneapolis, Minnesota, police arrest George Floyd | PHOTO: Facebook / Darnella Frazier | AFP
The police approach was made on the suspicion that Floyd was trying to buy something with a counterfeit $ 20 bill at a convenience store. In the video, recorded by someone passing by, people around ask the police to release Floyd's neck. No weapons were seized in the approach. Police say he resisted arrest, but a video from the security camera of a store near where the incident occurred shows Floyd being removed by police from his car and handcuffed, apparently without resisting arrest. Police have not yet released images of the portable cameras used by police officers during the approach.
The FBI, the US federal police, started an investigation into Floyd's death. The victim's family asks that Derek Chauvin, the police officer seen in the video, be tried for murder. The mayor of Minneapolis, as well as Democratic and Republican politicians and celebrities, asked the county prosecutor to arrest Chauvin.
"Being black in America shouldn't be a death sentence," said Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey, who said the officer used an unauthorized immobilization against Floyd. "For five minutes, we saw a white policeman press his knee to a black man's neck. Five minutes. When you hear someone asking for help, you must help. That officer has failed in the most basic human sense."
US President Donald Trump said on Wednesday that he asked the FBI to speed up the investigation into Floyd's death, adding that "justice will be done".