St. Paul mayor says arrested protesters were from out of state

St. Paul, Minn., Mayor Melvin Carter (D) said Saturday that all of the protesters who were arrested in his city the previous night were from out of state as demonstrations in and around Minneapolis over George Floyd’s death descended into violence.

Carter said there was not a high number of arrests in St. Paul on Friday night due in part to a curfew but suggested that out-of-staters were behind much of the agitation fueling the violence.

“Because we had a relative stillness in St. Paul, we didn’t make an enormous number of arrests, but every single person we arrested last night, I’m told, was from out of state. What we are seeing right now is a group of people who are not from here,” Carter said at a press conference.

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“As I talk to my friends who have been in this movement for a very long time, who wake up in this movement every day, and I ask them what they’re seeing, what they’re feeling, what they’re hearing, to a person, I hear them say, ‘We don’t know these folks. We don’t know these folks who are agitating. We don’t know these folks who are inciting violence. We don’t know these folks who are first in to break a window,’” he added.

The remarks come as protests across the country over Floyd’s death turn violent, with demonstrators vandalizing buildings and businesses in several cities.

However, later Saturday evening, the mayors of both St. Paul and Minneapolis as well as Minnesota Gov. Tim WalzTimothy (Tim) James WalzMinnesota lawmakers blast pharmaceutical industry lawsuit over insulin affordability law Judge in George Floyd case tells attorneys, officials, family to limit public statements Internal watchdog investigating if Air Force improperly used plane to surveil protests: report MORE (D) walked back their remarks about those arrested, claiming that they had received inaccurate information about the arrests made in St. Paul. 

Walz said that more accurate information about those arrested is pending. 

The protests began after video went viral of a police officer kneeling on Floyd's neck for several minutes as Floyd, an unarmed black man, pleaded for help and said he couldn’t breathe. Floyd ultimately died.

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Officials said that nearly 50 people were arrested Friday night in Minneapolis. Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz (D) said he was activating additional National Guard troops after thousands of people ignored that city’s curfew.

Meanwhile, CNN reported that more than 200 people were arrested in New York City amid protests, with more than 40 of those people from outside the city.

 

Updated 10:07 p.m.