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Omar says some protestors ‘felt terrorized by the presence of tanks,’ National Guard

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Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) said on Sunday that while some Minneapolis residents felt safer with National Guard troops on city streets after demonstrations over the police-involved death of George Floyd turned violent, others “felt terrorized by the presence of tanks” while protesting. 


“I think last night, the community did feel safe to know that there will not be a burning of their businesses and their homes,” she said on ABC’s “This Week.” “We are obviously worried and feeling terrorized about that prospect.”

But, she added, there were “also many people who chose to demonstrate and not abide by the curfew, who felt like they also were terrorized by the presence of tanks, by the presence of the National Guard and a militarized police.”

Omar said it is a “challenge” to balance “extreme aggression” and avoid having Minneapolis “burned down.” 

The congresswoman also called for “nationwide reforms” beyond “just getting justice for George Floyd” by charging the other former Minneapolis police officers “who stood by idly” while former officer Derek Chauvin knelt on Floyd’s neck.

“It needs to be bigger than that,” she said.

“What we are seeing, the unrest we are seeing in our nation isn’t just because of the life that was taken,” she added. “It’s also because so many people have experienced this, so many people have experienced injustices within our system, so many people know the social and economic neglect.”

Floyd, a 46-year-old unarmed black man, died after being detained by Minneapolis police last week. Bystander video footage showed Chauvin kneeled on Floyd’s neck while the detainee said he could not breathe and after he was unresponsive. Chauvin was charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter on Friday. He and the other three officers assisting during Floyd’s arrest were fired on Tuesday

Floyd’s death has sparked protests in various cities across the country that have escalated in recent days. 

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz (D) ordered the “full mobilization” of the state’s National Guard Saturday morning. 

Tags George Floyd George Floyd death George Floyd protests Ilhan Omar Minneapolis Minnesota Minnesota National Guard National Guard Sunday shows Tim Walz

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