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Minneapolis Mayor to Seek Federal Aid after Looters Cause At Least $55 Million in Damage

A protester adds wood to a fire barricade near the Minneapolis Police third precinct after a white police officer was caught on video pressing his knee into the neck of African-American man George Floyd, who later died at a hospital, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S. May 27, 2020. (Nicholas Pfosi/Reuters)

Minneapolis mayor Jacob Frey will seek state and federal aid to rebuild city structures following over a week of looting and rioting, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported Friday.

Some 220 buildings have been damaged and require at least $55 million in repairs, the city’s Community Planning & Economic Development department said earlier this week, noting that the city was “not yet ready to produce a credible estimate.” City Council members warned that the costs will likely be far higher, while Mayor Frey said damages could reach into the “hundreds of millions.”

“We will do everything we can as we shift to recovery mode,” Frey told the Tribune. “We’re recovering from crises sandwiched on top of each other, from COVID-19 to the police killing and then the looting which took place afterward.”

Governor Tim Walz said he was working with Representatives Ilhan Omar and Betty McCollum, whose districts cover the twin cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul, as well as Senators Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith, on obtaining aid from the Federal Emergency Management Association.

“To be realistic, the odds of that happening are, at best, very difficult,” McCollum said. “If it is demonstrated [that] outside provocateurs committed acts of destruction then there is a clear rationale for an emergency declaration by President Trump.”

After the 2015 Freddie Gray riots in 2015, FEMA denied Maryland governor Larry Hogan’s request for $19 million in aid.

Minneapolis was rocked by civil unrest after George Floyd, an African-American man, was killed during his arrest by city police officers. The killing resulted in mass demonstrations against police racism and violence, but spiraled into looting and rioting during which the offending officers’ precinct building was burned down and local businesses were ransacked.

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Zachary Evans is a news writer for National Review Online. He is a veteran of the Israeli Defense Forces and a trained violist.

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