Violent protests, fires erupt in Minneapolis over George Floyd death

Violent protests erupted for a second night in Minneapolis on Wednesday over the police killing of George Floyd, a black man who was seen on video pleading for medical assistance on the ground as an officer placed a knee upon his neck while detaining him.

Photos and video from Wednesday night's demonstrations show businesses burning as looters struck some local stores, including a Target department store.

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Other protesters clashed with police in the streets while officers fired tear gas, rubber bullets and other nonlethal equipment. Chants of "I can't breathe," a phrase uttered by Floyd in the video, were heard, along with "no justice, no peace."

Thousands of Minneapolis residents poured into the streets hours after Mayor Jacob Frey (D) attempted to quell anger in the city by calling for the four officers involved in Floyd's arrest, who have all been fired, to face charges in his death. Reports have indicated that Floyd was unarmed when detained and under investigation for using counterfeit money at a corner store.

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“We watched for five whole, excruciating minutes as a white officer firmly pressed his knee into the neck of an unarmed, handcuffed black man,” Frey told reporters at a news conference earlier Wednesday, according to MPR News.

“I saw no threat. I saw nothing that would signal that this kind of force was necessary,” he added. “If you had done it, or I had done it, we would be behind bars right now.”

“George Floyd didn’t deserve to die,” added Gov. Tim WalzTim WalzMinnesota Gov. Walz launches reelection bid Minnesota to offer 0 gift cards, scholarships as vaccine incentives to kids Three suspects arrested in fatal St. Paul bar shooting MORE (D). “But George Floyd does deserve justice.”