Chaos and rioting as George Floyd protest in Minneapolis turns violent

There was no sign that the city of Minneapolis had imposed a curfew as people took to the streets for the fourth night since footage circulated of the George Floyd’s final moments.

The images of Floyd pinned to the floor beneath the knee of police officer Derek Chauvin inspired protests across the country.

But chaos and violence overshadowed peaceful protesting in Minneapolis. Some people displayed their anger by setting fire to buildings and furniture.

Loud bangs rang out as people set off fireworks on street corners and threw Molotov cocktails.

Looters took advantage of the chaos to raid a liquor store, loading bottles and boxes into cars pulling up outside.

Looters took advantage of the chaos
Image:Looters took advantage of the chaos

Others were just standing by and watching what was happening to their community.

One man who identified himself as a peaceful protester said: “I don’t even feel like it’s safe to be in my house so I’m outside, it’s crazy out here.”

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Police officers and protesters clash near CNN center, Friday, May 29, 2020 in Atlanta. The protest started peacefully earlier in the day before demonstrators clashed with police. (AP Photo/Mike Stewart)

Protests, scuffles and rage across US

Adam, a white resident in the city’s 5th precinct, said: “I understand the protests but the looting, the rioting…

“That place across the street is one of my favourite places to eat and I saw three or four people just take out their windows.

Loud bangs rang out as people set off fireworks on street corners
Image:Loud bangs rang out as people set off fireworks on street corners

“I feel the anger, I’m angry too. But I’m seeing my neighbourhood go up in flames,” he said.

The police were largely absent as anarchy ruled the streets. A police station car park was full of patrol cars with their lights turned on, but the rioters seemed to have free rein on the streets while we were there in the early hours of the morning.

Local officials held a press conference at 1:30am to plead with people to go home and obey the curfew.

The police were largely absent as anarchy ruled the streets
Image:Police officers were largely absent as anarchy ruled the streets

Mayor Jacob Frey said: “We as a city are more than this. There is no honour in burning down your city. There’s no pride in burning down local businesses that are institutions.”

Many businesses were boarded up, a reminder not only of the chaos engulfing the city but also the closures caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Many boards had messages of support for the protest, including ‘Black Lives Matter’. One business advertised that it was a ‘black business’, a plea to protesters not to loot or vandalise.

A community dealing with the aftermath of George Floyd’s death, another black man killed in police custody, will now have to deal with the physical and economic damage of riots.

Mark Gibson

Graduates in Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois 1990. Move to Los Angeles California in 2004. Specialized in Internet journalism.

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