Minneapolis police station torched amid George Floyd protest Favorite 

Practitioner: 

Date: 

May 28 2020

Location: 

Minneapolis

(See also: approval rates for Black Lives Matter following the start of the protests over the murder of George Floyd by police.)

Cheering protesters torched a Minneapolis police station that the department abandoned as three days of violent protests spread to nearby St. Paul and angry demonstrations flared across the U.S over the death of George Floyd, a handcuffed black man who pleaded for air as a white police officer kneeled on his neck. (This was the first time in American history that a police station has been successfully burned by protesters, though there had been other attempts.)

A police spokesman confirmed late Thursday that staff had evacuated the 3rd Precinct station, the focus of many of the protests, “in the interest of the safety of our personnel" shortly after 10 p.m. (The concept of a "dilemma action" comes to mind.)

Livestream video showed the protesters entering the building, where fire alarms blared and sprinklers ran as blazes were set. Protesters could be seen setting fire to a Minneapolis Police Department jacket.

Hundreds of demonstrators returned Thursday to the Minneapolis neighborhood at the center of the violence, where the nighttime scene veered between an angry protest and a street party. At one point, a band playing in a parking lot across from the 3rd Precinct broke into a punk version of Bob Marley's “Redemption Song." Nearby, demonstrators carried clothing mannequins from a looted Target and threw them onto a burning car. Later, a building fire erupted nearby.

But elsewhere in Minneapolis, thousands of peaceful demonstrators marched through the streets calling for justice.

Floyd's death has deeply shaken Minneapolis and sparked protests in cities across the U.S.

Erika Atson, 20, was among thousands of people who gathered outside government offices in downtown Minneapolis, where organizers had called for a peaceful protest. Many protesters wore masks because of the coronavirus pandemic, but there were few attempts at social distancing.

Atson, who is black, described seeing her 14- and 11-year-old brothers tackled by Minneapolis police years ago because officers mistakenly presumed the boys had guns. She said she had been at “every single protest” since Floyd’s death and worried about raising children who could be vulnerable in police encounters.

“We don’t want to be here fighting against anyone. We don’t want anyone to be hurt. We don’t want to cause any damages,” she said. “We just want the police officer to be held accountable.”

The group marched peacefully for three hours before another confrontation with police broke out, though details were scarce.

Protesters destroyed property "because the system is broken,” said a young man who identified himself only by his nickname, Cash, and who said he had been in the streets during the violence. He dismissed the idea that the destruction would hurt residents of the largely black neighborhood.

“They’re making money off of us,” he said angrily of the owners of the destroyed stores. He laughed when asked if he had joined in the looting or violence. “I didn’t break anything.”

Protests have also spread to other U.S. cities. In New York City, protesters defied New York’s coronavirus prohibition on public gatherings Thursday, clashing with police, while demonstrators blocked traffic in downtown Denver and downtown Columbus. A day earlier, demonstrators had taken to the streets in Los Angeles and Memphis.

In Louisville, Kentucky, police confirmed that at least seven people had been shot Thursday night as protesters demanded justice for Breonna Taylor, a black woman who was fatally shot by police in her home in March.

Posted by Andy Bichlbaum on

Staff rating: 

10
The image of the burning police station communicated the issue VERY far and wide and was a key element of the extremely effective BLM campaign (that as of June 11 is going very strong indeed).

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The image of the burning police station communicated the issue VERY far and wide and was a key element of the extremely effective BLM campaign (that as of June 11 is going very strong indeed).