Updated: Jun 8, 2020
After the death of an unarmed man in police custody, riots have engulfed the city of Minneapolis, Minnesota. The night of May 27 saw relatively peaceful protests descend into mass violence, disarray, and looting. Minneapolis Police repeatedly utilized tear gas, flash bangs, and rubber bullets in a failed attempt to restore order. In a major development, Mayor Jacob Frey has requested assistance from the Minnesota National Guard.
Protesters that had peacefully surrounded Minneapolis Police's 3rd Precinct Headquarters became violent as the night wore on, forcing police to fire rubber bullets from the installation's rooftop. After rocks started to be thrown at the police officers themselves, law enforcement deployed chemical irritant gas. From there, tensions quickly escalated.
By 10:00 PM (GMT+8), an AutoZone and affordable housing construction site near the precinct were set aflame, with businesses such as Wendy's and Target looted and badly damaged by rioters. Hours later, officers responding to a reported stabbing near the riots found a man shot dead on the side of the road with a bullet wound to the chest.
According to an unnamed official with the Mayor's office, Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey has asked the governor to deploy Minnesota National Guard troops to help control the riots. Thus far, Governor Tim Walz has been apprehensive to approve the deployment, and has relied on the Minnesota State Police. From publicly available information, it appears as though 50 to 60 additional state troopers have been sent to assist local law enforcement officers (LEOs).
Miles away, in the Minneapolis suburb of Oakdale, protestors gathered outside the home of the arresting officer blamed for the death of the unarmed man. According to local news outlets, red paint was poured onto the now-unemployed officer's driveway, and the word killer was embellished on the house's garage door in spray paint.
At the federal level, President Trump announced that the Department of Justice and Federal Bureau of Investigation would be probing the death of the man, adding, "Justice will be served!”
The views expressed are those of the author and do not reflect the official policy or position of the United States Army, Department of Defense, or the United States Government.