Protests escalate over the death of George Floyd in cities across country

minneapolis george floyd protests fireminneapolis george floyd protests fire

People continue the second day of protests in Minneapolis on Wednesday, May 27, 2020, over the death of George Floyd.

ordan Strowder/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images


  • George Floyd, a black man, died on Monday after an officer knelt on Floyd’s neck for several minutes, as Floyd said he couldn’t breathe.
  • He became unresponsive four minutes into the eight-minute video, according to reports, and police said they called an ambulance. He died later at the hospital.
  • Video of the incident prompted protests on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.
  • Follow our live updates on the protests below.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Protests erupted after a video circulated on social media showing a police officer kneeling on a man named George Floyd’s neck for around eight minutes on Monday.

Floyd died after the incident, and the four officers involved in the incident were fired.

Thousands have taken to the streets in the city to protest Floyd’s death and demand accountability for the officers. Protests turned violent on Wednesday, and several stores were set on fire, local outlets reported. 

On Thursday, protests continued. Follow our live updates below.

Protests escalated in Minneapolis on Thursday, with looting and multiple buildings set on fire — including a police precinct.

minneapolis protests george floyd

Police shoot at protesters from the roof of the 3rd precinct on Wednesday, May 27, 2020, during the second day of protests over the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

Steel Brooks/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images


Protests continued in Minneapolis on Thursday, and reporters on the scene said tension is still high. 

“Cars torched, store shelves stripped. 8pm in Minneapolis and it’s still anarchy. Protesters say there will be more carnage tonight, demanding charges be laid over the death of #GeorgeFloyd,” Ashlee Mullany, a reporter on the scene, tweeted. 

—Ashlee Mullany (@AshleeMullany) May 29, 2020

According to WCCO, protesters are demanding the arrest of the four officers involved in Floyd’s death. 

—Ricardo Lopez (@rljourno) May 29, 2020

Minneapolis’s Third Precinct police station was set on fire.

minneapolis protest

A protester tries to extinguish a fire outside a Target store near the Third Police Precinct on May 28, 2020 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, during a demonstration over the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man, who died after a police officer kneeled on his neck for several minutes

KEREM YUCEL/AFP via Getty Images


Local outlet WCCO reported that protesters took over the police department’s Third Precinct building late Thursday night. A statement from police said that the precinct was evacuated at 10:00 p.m. local time. 

“Protesters forcibly entered the building and have ignited several fires,” the statement said.

Footage shows the building on fire. 

—philip lewis (@Phil_Lewis_) May 29, 2020

According to CNN, police set up a fence around the precinct earlier in the day, but thousands of protesters crowded around the building after the fence was pushed down. 

—Ryan Faircloth (@RyanFaircloth) May 29, 2020

“The precinct is on fire. We don’t know where the police are,” said CNN National Correspondent Sara Sidner. “The fire alarm is going on inside … People are cheering and more fireworks are going off as the police precinct is burning.”

CNN also reported that there is no noticeable police presence in the area.

As multiple fires blaze, the city of Minneapolis warned residents on Twitter of “unconfirmed reports” that gas lines were cut, which could result in explosions.

—City of Minneapolis (@CityMinneapolis) May 29, 2020

The Minneapolis fire chief tells CNN, they may try to put out the flames but the priority is keeping firefighters safe.

minneapolis protest

Protesters gather outside the burning Minneapolis police 3rd Precinct building Thursday, May 28, 2020, in Minneapolis. Protests over the death of George Floyd, a black man who died in police custody Monday, broke out in Minneapolis for a third straight night.

(AP Photo/Julio Cortez)


Minneapolis Fire Chief John Fruetel told CNN’s Don Lemon that the department had put out multiple structure fires over the past few nights of protests.

He said that they may go in and try to put out the fire at the Minneapolis Police Department’s Third Precinct, but that the “number one priority” was to keep firefighters safe.

“We’ve had different projectiles swung at us the last two nights,” he noted to CNN.

“We had rocks thrown at us at the last scene,” he continued. “We have to consider the safety of the firefighters in those areas so we’re being cautious.”

A Target store was also reportedly on fire in the same area.

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey held a press conference at 1:45 a.m. local time Friday, calling the looting and destruction “unacceptable.”

—Chao Xiong (@ChaoStrib) May 29, 2020

“What we have seen over the past several hours and the past couple of nights in terms of looting is unacceptable,” Mayor Frey said. “Our communities cannot and will not tolerate it.”

“These are community institutions that we need,” he continued. “These are banks that people rely on to get cash. Grocery stores that people rely on to get food. These are pharmacies people rely on to get medicine.”

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey also tweeted asking residents to clear the area.

—Mayor Jacob Frey (@MayorFrey) May 29, 2020

The National Guard activated 500 soldiers to the Twin Cities and the surrounding region.

—MN National Guard (@MNNationalGuard) May 29, 2020

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz declared a “peacetime emergency” and signed an executive order, on Thursday, activating the National Guard, Business Insider previously reported. 

Walz said “feelings of anguish, anger, and disillusionment are justified” in response to the death of Floyd. But, “Unfortunately, some individuals have engaged in unlawful and dangerous activity, including arson, rioting, looting, and damaging public and private property,” according to the order. 

President Donald Trump weighed in on the protests on Twitter.

—Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 29, 2020

—Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 29, 2020

In response to Trump’s tweets, Mayor Frey said: “Weakness is refusing to take responsibility for your own actions. Weakness is pointing your finger at somebody else, during a time of crisis. Donald Trump knows nothing about the strength of Minneapolis. We are strong as hell. Is this a difficult time period? Yes. But you better be damn sure that we’re going to get through this.”

Read more about Trump’s tweets here.

Twitter rebuked the president for his tweets about the demonstrations, noting that they violated the platform’s rules “about glorifying violence.”

Twitter rebuke



Twitter


His tweet is still viewable though if you click to see it.

“Twitter has determined that it may be in the public’s interest for the Tweet to remain accessible,” Twitter added.

Former Vice President Joe Biden also responded to the death of George Floyd saying, “Everyday African Americans go about their lives with constant anxiety and trauma of wondering, ‘Will I be next?’ Sounds like an exaggeration but it’s not.”

joe biden

Democratic presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden speaks at a campaign event Friday, Feb. 14, 2020, in Henderson, Nev.

Associated Press/John Locher


“These tragedies, these injustices, cut at the very what of our most sacred of beliefs: that all Americans, equal in rights and in dignity, are part of an ingrained systemic cycle of racism and oppression that [run] throughout every party of our society,” Biden said at a virtual fundraiser hosted by Whoopi Goldberg and Sen. Tammy Duckworth of Illinois.

“If we’re not committed as a nation,” he added, “with every ounce of purpose in our beings, not just to bind up this wound in hope that somehow the scab once again will cover things over — but to treat the underlying injury — we’re never going to eventually heal.”

Read more of his remarks here.

Protests also broke out in St. Paul, Minnesota, on Thursday. Stores were also set on fire.

st. paul protests george floyd

A woman is surrounded by teargas Thursday, May 28, 2020, in St. Paul.

AP Photo/John Minchillo


Local news station KTSP reported that a large fire started across the street from a Target in St. Paul as well as in front of several other businesses.

Another reporter tweeted that lootings were also taking place in St. Paul. 

—Beth McDonough (@bmcdonoughkstp) May 29, 2020

Local station KMSP reported that St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter is requesting help from the National Guard to control the crowd, which according to Police Chief Todd Axtell are “moving up and down University Avenue using vehicles with removed license plates look to cause mayhem.” 

Protesters began to throw rocks, bottles, and even shopping carts at officers who were blocking the entrance to Midway Target, according to KMSP. 

Video published online by Reuters shows protesters throwing Target shopping carts at a police car. 

—Reuters (@Reuters) May 29, 2020

Protests also broke out on Thursday in other cities around the country.

nyc protests george floyd

A protester is arrested during a rally over the death of George Floyd, a black man who was in police custody in Minneapolis Thursday, May 28, 2020, in New York. Floyd died after being restrained by Minneapolis police officers on Memorial Day.

(AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)


In New York City, there were reports of 70 arrests after protests turned violent on Thursday, according to The New York Post.

Dozens of protesters clashed with police while demonstrating and chanting “No justice! No peace!” and “F— the police.”

Protests also escalated in Columbus, Ohio, and Phoenix, Arizona.

One person is in critical condition after seven people were shot during a protest in Kentucky.

george floyd

Demonstrators join hands Thursday, May 28, 2020, in St. Paul.

AP Photo/John Minchillo


CNN reported that peaceful protests escalated in Louisville, Kentucky.

In a statement to Business Insider, the Louisville Metro Police Department said: ” The situation downtown remains fluid and continues to evolve. What we can confirm for tonight is seven shooting victims, at least one of them is critical. “

LMPD said they’ve made some arrests but did not provide any additional information at this time. 

—Travis Ragsdale (@TravisRagsdale) May 29, 2020

According to WDRB, the protesters were demanding justice for Breonna Taylor, a black woman who was killed in her home in Louisville during a police raid in March. 

Protesters attempted to flip an LMPD prison transport vehicle before the shots were fired, WDBR reported. CNN added protesters “blocked buses and disrupted traffic, and have thrown bottles at officers.” 

The LMPD later said that no officers had fired their weapons, and the mayor called for peace.

“Understandably, emotions are high,” Mayor Greg Fischer said on Facebook. “As Breonna’s mother says, let’s be peaceful as we work toward truth and justice.”

A car allegedly deliberately hit a protester in Denver.

denver george floyd protests

Participants carry placards as they march during a protest outside the State Capitol over the death of George Floyd.

AP Photo/David Zalubowski


A graphic video of a protester getting hit by a vehicle that was pushing through a crowd of demonstrators was posted on Twitter. 

—Joshua Potash (@JoshuaPotash) May 29, 2020

The condition of the protester is not immediately known.

On Thursday, in Denver, police responded to reports of shots fired outside the Colorado State Capitol, amid the protests there.

the Colorado State Capitol building stands at the base of Grant Street in downtown Denver.

the Colorado State Capitol building stands at the base of Grant Street in downtown Denver.

David Zalubowski / AP


It’s not clear if anyone was injured, but protesters and lawmakers took shelter in the Capitol building after shots were fired, Insider reported.

—Spencer Wilson (@Spencer_WNews) May 28, 2020

According to Insider, One witness, who said he was at the capitol protesting over Floyd’s death when shots were fired, said he and his friend “ran for our f—ing lives after the incident.”

He warned others not to attend the protest in Denver, adding that “no one else needs to die.”

There were protests in Minneapolis on Tuesday and Wednesday night as well.

minneapolis george floyd fire protests

People continue the second day of protests in Minneapolis on Wednesday, May 27, 2020, over the death of George Floyd.

Jordan Strowder/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images


While protesters clashed with police on Tuesday, things turned more violent on Wednesday — when looting began and an AutoZone store was set on fire. 

On Wednesday KSTP reported that protesters threw bottles and rocks at police officers, who responded with rubber bullets, flash-bangs, and tear gas.

The Star Tribune  said “most of the violence stemmed from a large crowd that gathered outside Minneapolis’ 3rd Precinct police headquarters.”

Target, an AutoZone, a tobacco store, a liquor store, a Cub Foods, and a Dollar Tree in the area were looted, KSTP reported.

—Beth McDonough (@bmcdonoughkstp) May 28, 2020

A man was also fatally shot outside a pawn shop amid the widespread looting on Wednesday. 

Mayor Jacob Frey asked protesters to go home after the second night of protests.

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

On Tuesday, the four cops involved in Floyd’s death were fired. However, no charges have been filed against them yet.

george floyd protests

Protesters gather at the scene where George Floyd, an unarmed black man, was pinned down by a police officer kneeling on his neck before later dying in hospital in Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S. May 26, 2020. REUTERS/Eric Miller

Eric Miller/Reuters


“This is the right call,” Mayor Jacob Frey said of the firing in a tweet.

The FBI and state authorities are investigating Floyd’s death.

“I believe what I saw, and what I saw was wrong at every level,” Frey said in a press conference, adding, “Being black in America should not be a death sentence.”

The Hennepin County District Attorney is deciding whether to charge the officers in connection to Floyd’s death. 

George Floyd died on Monday after a police officer kneeled on his neck.

George Floyd chokehold minneapolis police

A still from a video that was taken of the arrest of George Floyd, who later died in custody.

Darnella Frazier/Facebook


A video circulated on social media showing a white police officer kneeling on Floyd’s neck for around eight minutes on Monday.

In the video, Floyd, a black man, pleaded for his life and said he couldn’t breathe.

“Please, please, please, I can’t breathe,” Floyd says in the video. “Don’t kill me.”

“Relax,” the officer, whom local news outlets identified as Derek Chauvin, said.

He stopped moving around four minutes into the video, and police said an ambulance took him to the hospital, where he died that evening.

A statement from the Minneapolis Police Department said officers were responding to reports of an ongoing forgery and claimed Floyd was resisting arrest. However, new surveillance video raises the claims of resistance to arrest into question.

Minneapolis police released a transcript of the 911 call that led to the encounter with George Floyd.

george floyd

Demonstrators join hands Thursday, May 28, 2020, in St. Paul.

AP Photo/John Minchillo


Read the transcript here.

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By |2020-05-29T08:27:44+00:00May 29th, 2020|Business|Comments Off on Protests escalate over the death of George Floyd in cities across country
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