Minneapolis is experiencing the fourth day of protest after George Floyd’s death, with the protesters taking over the police department’s 3rd Precinct building late Thursday night. The heated and fourth-day protest took place at 10 p.m., with rioters setting fires inside the building and outside near the main entrance.
Police released a statement, saying in part, “in the interest of the safety of our personnel, the Minneapolis Police Department evacuated the 3rd Precinct of its staff. Protesters forcibly entered the building and have ignited several fires.” WCCO’s Jennifer Mayerle reports that the department is considering withdrawing officers from the building as early as noon Thursday.
While speaking to the media on Friday Morning, Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey said he was the one who made the decision for police to leave the precinct after hours of discussion with Police Chief Medaria Arradondo.
Frey also addressed the harsh remarks President Donald Trump made on Twitter late Thursday night. see below:
….These THUGS are dishonoring the memory of George Floyd, and I won’t let that happen. Just spoke to Governor Tim Walz and told him that the Military is with him all the way. Any difficulty and we will assume control but, when the looting starts, the shooting starts. Thank you!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 29, 2020
“Weakness is pointing the finger at someone else during a time of crisis. Donald J. Trump knows nothing about the strength of Minneapolis. We are strong as hell, and you better be damn sure we’re going to get through this!” Frey said.
About 90 minutes after that, the 3rd Precinct was taking over by rioters, city officials warned that the precinct building’s gas line may have been severed, and the building may be in danger of exploding.
We’re hearing unconfirmed reports that gas lines to the Third Precinct have been cut and other explosive materials are in the building.
If you are near the building, for your safety, PLEASE RETREAT in the event the building explodes.
— City of Minneapolis (@CityMinneapolis) May 29, 2020
Meanwhile, the Minnesota National Guard said that 500 soldiers are in Minneapolis, St. Paul and surrounding suburbs to “protect life, preserve property and the right to peacefully demonstrate.”
We are here with the Minneapolis Fire Department ready to assist so they can safely do their mission. pic.twitter.com/FjsCJ5B8d0
— MN National Guard (@MNNationalGuard) May 29, 2020