Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz is issued a plea for calm Friday to rioting protesters who have thrown the city of Minneapolis into chaos this week following the death of George Floyd.
Floyd died after a police officer taking him into custody kept his knee on Floyd’s neck for almost nine minutes, according to documents charging the since-fired officer, Derek Chauvin, with third-degree murder and manslaughter.
Outraged by a video of the incident that went viral, protesters took to the streets in Minneapolis this week.
The demonstrations took a dark turn on Wednesday and Thursday, as rioters set fire to dozens of buildings and looted business.
Speaking at a news conference on Friday, Walz made an appeal for the “rule of law” to prevail.
“I understand clearly there is no trust in many of our communities,” the Democratic governor said.
“I will not patronize you as a white man without living those lived experiences,” Walz added, “but I am asking you to help us.”
“Help us use humane ways to get the streets to a place where we can restore the justice so that those that are expressing rage and anger and demanding justice are heard, not those who throw fire bombs into businesses,” he said.
Walz then lamented that many of the businesses being targeted are owned by people of color.
The Democrat said he plans to “restore order” to the city but added: “We cannot have the looting and the recklessness that went on. We cannot have it because we can’t function as a society.”
Walz also claimed the criminal justice system is biased against minorities, but asked protesters to be patient as he works for reforms.
“Help me restore that order,” he said.
Also Friday, President Donald Trump announcing the arrival of the National Guard in Minneapolis.
“The National Guard has arrived on the scene. They are in Minneapolis and fully prepared. George Floyd will not have died in vain. Respect his memory!!!” he wrote on Twitter.
The National Guard has arrived on the scene. They are in Minneapolis and fully prepared. George Floyd will not have died in vain. Respect his memory!!!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 29, 2020
On Thursday, rioters set fires across a portion of Minneapolis, including at the police department’s third precinct station, which they breached.
The lawlessness occurred a day after a Target location was gutted and vandalized by looters.
Other businesses were also attacked, including an AutoZone location that was set on fire.
The protests began after Floyd died Monday following an incident in which he was detained by police.
Chauvin was filmed placing his knee on Floyd’s neck after Floyd, who pleaded for Chauvin to remove his knee, was detained for allegedly attempting to pass off a counterfeit $20 bill as real.
Floyd later died.
Chauvin, meanwhile, was arrested Friday and charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter.
According to the criminal complaint against Chauvin, his knee was on Floyd’s neck for eight minutes and 46 seconds, despite the fact that “police are trained that this type of restraint with a subject in a prone position is inherently dangerous,” NBC News reported.
Three other officers who were on the scene of the arrest of Floyd have not yet been charged with a crime, but they were all fired, along with Chauvin.
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