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iN VIDEO: Violent protests rock Minneapolis for 2nd straight night

People stand on a burned up car as fires burn near a Target Store after a night of unrest and protests in the death of George Floyd early Thursday, May 28, 2020 in downtown Minneapolis. Floyd died after being restrained by Minneapolis police officers on Memorial Day. A video taken by a bystander shows a Minneapolis police officer with his knee on the neck of a man in custody who later died. The four officers involved have been fired.
Image Credit: (David Joles/Star Tribune via AP)
May 28, 2020 - 8:30 AM

MINNEAPOLIS - Violent protests over the death of a black man in police custody rocked a Minneapolis neighborhood for a second straight night as angry crowds looted stores, set fires and left a path of damage that stretched for miles. The mayor asked the governor to activate the National Guard.

The protests that began late Wednesday and stretched into Thursday morning were the most destructive yet since the death of George Floyd, who was seen on video gasping for breath during an arrest in which an officer kneeled on his neck for almost eight minutes. In the footage, George pleads that he cannot breathe before he slowly stops talking and moving.

Mayor Jacob Frey sought calm. “Please, Minneapolis, we cannot let tragedy beget more tragedy,” he said on Twitter.

Protests also spread to other U.S. cities. In California, hundreds of people protesting Floyd’s death blocked a Los Angeles freeway and shattered windows of California Highway Patrol cruisers.

Pockets of looting continued Thursday at Minneapolis stores where windows and doors were smashed. Television station KSTP reported some fires at businesses burned with no firefighters on the scene. A liquor store employee displayed a gun as he stood among the debris of broken bottles and beer cans inside the business.

Amid the violence, a man was found fatally shot Wednesday night near a pawn shop, possibly by the owner, authorities said.

Protesters began gathering Wednesday afternoon near the city’s 3rd Precinct station, in the southern part of the city, where the 46-year-old Floyd died on Memorial Day as police arrested him outside a convenience store on a report of a counterfeit bill being passed. Protesters also skirmished with officers, who fired rubber bullets and tear gas in a repeat of Tuesday night’s confrontation.

Smoke fills the sky after a night of unrest and protests in the death of George Floyd early Thursday, May 28, 2020 in downtown Minneapolis. Floyd died after being restrained by Minneapolis police officers on Memorial Day. A video taken by a bystander shows a Minneapolis police officer with his knee on the neck of a man in custody who later died. The four officers involved have been fired.
Smoke fills the sky after a night of unrest and protests in the death of George Floyd early Thursday, May 28, 2020 in downtown Minneapolis. Floyd died after being restrained by Minneapolis police officers on Memorial Day. A video taken by a bystander shows a Minneapolis police officer with his knee on the neck of a man in custody who later died. The four officers involved have been fired.
Image Credit: (David Joles/Star Tribune via AP)

By Thursday morning, smoke hung over the city, and looters carried merchandise from a damaged Target store with no interference by police. Video of the store’s interior showed empty clothing racks and shelves and debris strewn about. Obscenities were spray-painted on the outside of the store.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office and the FBI in Minneapolis said Thursday they were conducting “a robust criminal investigation” into Floyd’s death and making the case a priority. The announcement came a day after President Donald Trump tweeted that he had asked an investigation to be expedited.

The FBI had already announced that it would investigate whether Floyd’s civil rights were violated.

The officer and three others were fired Tuesday. On Wednesday, Frey called for him to be criminally charged.

Frey appealed to Gov. Tim Walz to activate the National Guard, a spokesman confirmed Thursday. The governor’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Walz tweeted for calm Wednesday night, calling the violence “an extremely dangerous situation” and urging people to leave the scene.

A man poses for a photo in the parking lot of an AutoZone store in flames, while protesters hold a rally for George Floyd in Minneapolis on Wednesday, May 27, 2020. Violent protests over the death of the black man in police custody broke out in Minneapolis for a second straight night Wednesday, with protesters in a standoff with officers outside a police precinct and looting of nearby stores.
A man poses for a photo in the parking lot of an AutoZone store in flames, while protesters hold a rally for George Floyd in Minneapolis on Wednesday, May 27, 2020. Violent protests over the death of the black man in police custody broke out in Minneapolis for a second straight night Wednesday, with protesters in a standoff with officers outside a police precinct and looting of nearby stores.
Image Credit: (Carlos Gonzalez/Star Tribune via AP)

Also on Wednesday night, officers responding to a reported stabbing near the protests found a man lying on the sidewalk with what turned out to be a bullet wound, police spokesman John Elder said. The man was pronounced dead at a hospital. Elder said a suspect was in custody and that the facts leading up to the shooting were “still being sorted out.”

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Associated Press writers Amy Forliti in Minneapolis, Gretchen Ehlke in Milwaukee and Colleen Long in Washington contributed to this report.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2020
The Canadian Press

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