MINNEAPOLIS -May 28th 29th- Minneapolis police department’s 3rd Precinct was set in fire as protests over the death of George Floyd raged for a forth straight day.
Fires burned on both sides of the police station as demonstrators pushed down temporary fencing and occupied property at the precinct. Officers fired tear gas from the ground and a rooftop. Other buildings nearby were also burning.
The blaze at the 3rd Precinct, where the four officers who were fired after Floyd’s death worked, was one among many fast-moving developments in Minneapolis the last few days.
Department spokesman John Elder said that police had cleared the 3rd precinct shortly after 10 p.m., when demonstrators forcibly entered and “ignited several fires,”
Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey said today in an early morning news conference, that he made the call to evacuate police officers from the 3rd Precinct before rioters set the building on fire Thursday night and he added that“You know brick and mortar is not as important as life”. Jacob Frey called the vandalism and arson “unacceptable,” but vowed that officers would still patrol the community served by the 3rd Precinct. “We will continue to do our jobs in that area,” Mayor of Minneapolis said.
US President responded to the unrest, calling demonstrators “thugs” and threatening, “when the looting starts, the shooting starts”. Twitter placed a warning on the president’s post, saying it glorifies violence.
The city of Minneapolis on Twitter urged people to “retreat” from the area as a precaution. “We’re hearing unconfirmed reports that gas lines to the Third Precinct have been cut and other explosive materials are in the building.”
Mayor Jacob Frey said the fire department is working to respond to the fires that have been set all over town the last four days. However, he added, “We all need to work together to ensure the safety of our friends, family, and Minneapolis residents. And right now working together means clearing the area.”
As for other city officials, in an appearance on CNN, Minneapolis Fire Chief John Fruetel appeared unaware that the 3rd Precinct was on fire or rioters had gained entry to it until anchor Don Lemon told him live on the air.
“That’s very possible. I apologize for that,” Fruetel said. He said he just came from another fire. Fruetel said that “the fire department would have to assess the scene before deciding to send in crews.”
Sources from: FOX News – CNN news – NBC news – MSNBC –
By Alex Ammohostianos