MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Protesters angered by the death of a black man who died while pleading for air as a white police officer kneeled on his neck have torched the 3rd Precinct Minneapolis police station that the department was forced to abandon.
Thursday marked a third night of violent protests following the death of George Floyd, who died in a confrontation with officers outside a grocery store.
Earlier Thursday, Gov. Tim Walz had activated the National Guard at Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey’s request, and as protests and looting spread into neighboring St. Paul. Frey said early Friday it was his decision to evacuate the police precinct because officers were at risk.
He defended the city’s mostly hands-off approach with protesters.
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump is calling protesters in Minneapolis “thugs” and vowing that “when the looting starts, the shooting starts.”
Trump tweeted as violence boiled over Thursday night, with protesters torching a police station.
Trump and his allies had taken a very different tone with the in-custody death of a black man in Minneapolis compared with past instances of police brutality involving African Americans, questioning the officers and sympathizing with the man who died.
Trump said earlier Thursday that he felt “very, very badly” about George Floyd’s death, calling it “a very shocking sight.”