PICTURES taken in Minneapolis show the scale of damage that was done during two nights of rioting that ensued as demonstrators protested George Floyd's death.
Images from the city in Minnesota show smoldering buildings, shattered windows, and remnants of fires lit as protesters descended upon the city, angry that Floyd died on Monday night in police custody.
Floyd was arrested for allegedly trying to use a fake bill to pay at the grocery store — and minutes later, Officer Derek Chauvin was filmed kneeling on Floyd's neck as he shouted: "I can't breathe."
The 46-year-old was then rushed to hospital where he later died.
Demonstrations started out peacefully before descending into chaos as cops used rubber bullets, tear gas, and pepper spray against protesters.
Those protesting Floyd's death had initially gathered at the intersection where Floyd died and at the Minneapolis Police Department's 3rd Precinct.
Hours later, the Lake and Hiawatha areas had descended into total chaos, with looting, violence, and fires.
At least one under construction apartment block was reported to have been burned down – and a factory also caught fire.
Other unverified reports have claimed businesses such as Target, Wendy's, and Aldi were also torched.
Protests also spread to other US cities — including in California and Tennessee.
In Los Angeles, hundreds of people blocked a freeway and shattered windows of California Highway Patrol cruisers.
While in Memphis, local police blocked a main thoroughfare after a racially mixed group of protesters gathered outside a police precinct.
Later in the night, police wore riot gear as protesters stood shoulder-to-shoulder in front of officers, who were stationed behind a barricade.
Minneapolis police spokesperson John Elder said on Tuesday, demonstrators "were chanting for things to remain peaceful."
“Tonight didn’t have the same feel. And that’s sad," he said.
Amid the violence, a man was found fatally shot on Wednesday night near a pawn shop, possibly by the owner, authorities said.
Fire crews responded to about 30 intentionally set blazes during the protests, including at least 16 structure fires.
The local fire department said multiple fire trucks were damaged by rocks and other projectiles; no one was said to hurt by the fires.
In addition to spray-painted buildings and possible arson, streets and parking lots were also covered in debris.
On Thursday, the third day of protests continued.
Chauvin and three other police officers were fired after Floyd died on Monday — which Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey said were “the right call.”
“Being Black in America should not be a death sentence,” Frey wrote online this week. “For five minutes, we watched a white officer press his knee into a Black man’s neck. Five minutes. When you hear someone calling for help, you’re supposed to help.”
He choked back tears on Thursday as he said protesters' anger was "not only understandable, it’s right.”
"What we've seen over the last two days … is the result of so much built-up anger and sadness," he told reporters. "Anger and sadness that has been ingrained in our black community, not just because of five minutes of horror, but 400 years.”
But, he said on Twitter amid the violence: “Please, Minneapolis, we cannot let tragedy beget more tragedy."
President Donald Trump said he expedited a federal investigation into Floyd's death.
Source: Read Full Article