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Minneapolis Mayor Calls for National Guard to Intervene after Night of Rioting and Looting

Police officers throw canisters to break up crowds of people protesting near the Minneapolis Police third precinct, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, May 27, 2020. (Eric Miller/Reuters)

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey urged Minnesota governor Tim Walz to send in the national guard after protests over the death of a George Floyd turned violent Wednesday night, the mayor’s spokesperson confirmed Thursday.

Frey tweeted early Thursday morning asking protestors to remain civil, as news of a fatal shooting, widespread looting, and arson came in from the site of the demonstrations.

“Please, Minneapolis, we cannot let tragedy beget more tragedy. The area along Lake has become unsafe. We are asking for your help in keeping the peace tonight,” he said.

Walz tweeted Wednesday night warning people to leave the area, saying “the situation near Lake Street and Hiawatha in Minneapolis has evolved into an extremely dangerous situation.”

Minneapolis police said they had taken one person into custody related to a shooting death near the site of the protests. Officers also responded to a report of a stabbing Wednesday night and took a gunshot victim who was not breathing to the hospital.

Four Minneapolis police officers were fired in connection to Floyd’s death, which occurred after an officer kneeled on his neck while he was handcuffed. While the initial police report claimed George “physically resisted officers,” new video footage shows officers wrestling Floyd out of a car before he walks with them onto the sidewalk and appears to comply with further orders, before collapsing to the ground.

President Trump called Floyd’s death “very sad and tragic” on Wednesday, and said he had asked the FBI and Justice Department to expedite an investigation into the incident as a potential civil rights violation.

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