Protests against the unjust death of George Floyd have escalated, and during the third night of demonstrations, a police station in Minneapolis was set on fire. Here are the latest developments:
Police Station Set on Fire: Protesters broke windows and breached the fence around the police station while officers retreated after firing projectiles. Images from the scene showed officers abandoning the department as protesters celebrated and posed for pictures in front of the flames.
National Guard Activated: Minnesota Governor Tim Walz activated the National Guard to assist law enforcement in restoring order amidst the protests. The move came as officials sought to address racial tensions following George Floyd’s fatal arrest. Four city police officers involved in the incident, Derek Chauvin, Thomas Lane, Tou Thao, and J. Alexander Kueng, were fired from their jobs the day after the incident.
Parallels to Eric Garner: George Floyd’s death is reminiscent of the 2014 killing of Eric Garner, an unarmed black man in New York City who died after being put in a banned police chokehold.
Ongoing Demonstrations: Hundreds of demonstrators gathered around the police station and a nearby Target store that were the focal points of clashes between protesters and riot police. A car in the Target parking lot was set on fire. These gatherings began with little police presence and no immediate sign of National Guard troops.
Police Chief’s Apology: Police Chief Medaria Arradondo apologized to George Floyd’s family and acknowledged that his department had contributed to a “deficit of hope” in Minnesota’s largest city.
International Attention: The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, expressed concern about “systemic racism and discrimination” in the U.S. criminal justice system.
Officer Derek Chauvin’s Record: Records from the police department show that there were 18 internal affairs complaints filed against Officer Derek Chauvin, with 16 of them being closed without discipline. Chauvin allegedly attempted to kill another black man, Ira Latrell Toles, during a domestic violence call in 2008.