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Christopher Columbus statue toppled outside Minnesota Capitol

A group of activists tore down a statue of Christopher Columbus, the explorer widely credited with discovering North America for European powers, on Minnesota's state Capitol grounds Wednesday afternoon.

Video obtained by Fox 9 shows a group of activists posing next to the statue as it lays on the ground. Protesters apparently tied a rope to the monument and pulled it down. The news station reported that activists had threatened to do so earlier in the day.

Gov. Tim WalzTim WalzThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by the UAE Embassy in Washington, DC - Trump, Biden clash over transition holdup, pandemic plans Former Minnesota Democratic leader quits party Minnesota to close bars, restaurants, gyms for four weeks: report MORE (D) addressed concerns over the statue at a press conference Wednesday afternoon, warning supporters of the statue not to dismiss "historical" concerns held by minority communities.

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"I hear it get pushed off as 'frivolous' or 'political correctness,'" he said, according to Fox 9. "These are historical pains that led to what we saw happen with George Floyd and the anger that came out."

Statues of Columbus, who is also known for his role in enslaving indigenous people in the Caribbean, have been targeted around the country by protesters along with monuments to Confederate generals and figures as protests rock cities around the country in response to the death of George Floyd, a black man who died in Minneapolis police custody.

Four former officers are facing charges over Floyd's death, including one who faces a second-degree murder charge after video was released showing him kneeling on Floyd's neck for nearly nine minutes despite Floyd being handcuffed and unarmed.

Protests in Minneapolis have previously targeted the city's police force and resulted in the burning of one police precinct.