Minnesota Governor Tim Walz on Friday admitted an ‘abject failure’ by law enforcement in trying to control crowds of rioters who took over Minneapolis on Thursday night, torching buildings and overrunning a police station, as a city-wide curfew was declared between the hours of 8pm and 6am.
Protesters have been running rampant in Minneapolis now for more than three nights in a united show of outrage over the killing of George Floyd, a 46-year-old black man who was killed on Monday when a police officer knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes because he’d allegedly tried to use a fake $20 to pay for something in a store.
It has sparked a national conversation about race relations and police brutality in America.
On Thursday, as tensions in the city boiled all day, the National Guard started putting in motion plans to intervene to help local law enforcement agencies that were struggling to cope with the mounting threat.
But they weren’t given the order to act quickly enough, according to officials who spoke at a press conference on Friday, and it led to a night of chaos that climaxed with the Third Police Precinct being set on fire.
Walz said on Friday that he was now considering a curfew to avoid another night of anarchy.
Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey on Friday afternoon signed a declaration of emergency that imposes a curfew between the hours of 8pm and 6am on Friday and Saturday night.
Walz earlier told reporters that he’d heard from state senators whose constituents were ‘locked’ in their homes, terrified to go out, with a total lack of police presence or firefighters to help battle streets of blazes.
‘Minneapolis and St. Paul are on fire. The fire is still smoldering in our streets. The ashes are symbolic of decades and generations of pain, of anguish unheard. Now generations of pain is manifesting itself in front of the world – and the world is watching,’ Walz said.
Gov Walz called Friday for order to be restored in the streets after the third devastating night of protests
The National Guard has said it was given no clear direction when 500 soldiers were ordered to descend onto the streets of Minneapolis
A member of the National Guard patrols near a burned out building on the fourth day of protests in Minneapolis
Buildings were torched and structures torn down leaving widespread destruction across Minneapolis
Graffiti is scrawled on to a sign in Minneapolis after protests erupted in violence in the city
Devastation: People clean up debris from destroyed businesses – more than 170 businesses have been destroyed
A destroyed vehicle is seen above after a third night of looting and protesters setting fires in the city
Minnesota State Patrol officers stood guard blocking access to streets where businesses had been damaged
He added he’d received a complaint from a state senator of a city ‘on fire, no police, no firefighters, no social control, constituents locked in houses wondering what they were going to do’, and said: ‘That is an abject failure that cannot happen.’
The National Guard defended its response, saying it could only act once it had been given a mission but that the mission never came.
They were eventually snapped into action at 12.05am, after the police precinct had been overrun.
Gov. Walz said it was down to city mayors to coordinate the response and that they simply never asked for his help but that on Friday and going forward, there would be no such vacuum of leadership.
‘You will not see that tonight, there will be no lack of leadership,’ he said.
Major General Jon Jensen of the Minnesota National Guard on Friday said there was a lack of clear direction and he was ‘very concerned about being asked to move to an unfamiliar area of Minneapolis under the cover of darkness’
‘What traditionally comes with the request is the layout of capability needed and exact the problem trying to be solved. Typically the request for the guard and that type of information come at the same time, sometimes it lags,’ he said.
President Trump responded to the carnage late this morning in a tweet saying ‘George Floyd will not have died in vain’ – after threatening to ‘assume control’ of Minneapolis with military intervention and warning ‘thugs’, ‘when the looting starts the shooting starts.’
The president’s incendiary tweet last night is now hidden by a warning that it violated Twitter’s rules about glorifying violence – but the message can be bypassed and the tweet remains live.
Walz said President Trump’s tweets which had suggested shooting looters were ‘not helpful’.
He said he spoke to Trump before he tweeted. Walz said: ‘I did speak to the President. At that point in time, it was in the process where I said we were going to assume control of this and it was unnecessary.”
Derek Chauvin along with three other officers – Thomas Lane, Tou Thao, and J Alexander Kueng – have been fired over Floyd’s fatal arrest. Chauvin has been charged with murder and aggravated assault and is now in custody.
Walz also issued a public apology to the CNN television crew who were arrested by Minnesota State Patrol while reporting on the mayhem this morning.
The governor said he took ‘full responsibility’ over the incident and had called CNN President Jeff Zucker, who he described as ‘incredibly angry’, to apologize.
The extraordinary incident was captured live on air showing CNN reporter Omar Jimenez being handcuffed and led away by state troopers. A producer and a photojournalist for the network were also taken away in handcuffs.
‘I failed you last night in that,’ Walz said. ‘And it does not escape me that we are here on the catalyst that lit this spark by what happened with a police detainment of George Floyd and the idea that a reporter would have been taken while another police action was in play is inexcusable.
Minnesota State Patrol deploy around the scene of daily protests and looting, as fires continue to burn
Five hundred National Guard soldiers and airmen have been deployed in the northern US cities of Minnesota and St. Paul after three nights of violent protests
Protesters face off with Minnesota State Police officers on Friday in Minneapolis, Minnesota
A man walks among rubble in the streets of Minneapolis early Friday after chaos erupted last night
A destroyed home is seen above. Minneapolis Police Department were forced to flee the 3rd Precinct after angry rioters set fire to the building
A torched car sits at an empty lot after rioters set the city ablaze as they demanded justice of George Floyd’s death
A man collects scrap metal from rubble near the Minneapolis Police third precinct which was set on fire and destroyed by protesters yesterday
Apocalyptic scenes of fire and destruction are seen in the Downtown area of Minneapolis after a savage night of lawlessnes
Burned out cars litter the streets near the area of recent protests in Minneapolis
National Guard troops blocked access to streets where businesses had been damaged. Cars were destroyed as seen above
Two men begin to board up a vandalized dry cleaning store in Minneapolis after it was targeted by protesters
Protesters gathered in front of the Third Police Precinct which had to be evacuated by police after it was torched
‘The protection and security and safety of the journalists covering this is a top priority. Not because it’s a nice thing to do. Because it is a key component of how we fix this.’
A total of 500 National Guard soldiers were deployed to the streets of Minneapolis and neighboring St. Paul last night and Mayor Jacob Frey was forced to declared a state of emergency as rioting continued into the early hours.
Frey called the looting ‘unacceptable’ but raged at Trump for ‘refusing to take responsibility for your own actions’, saying the president ‘knows nothing about the strength of Minneapolis’.
Trump’s first tweet in the chain accused the ‘Radical Left Mayor’ of showing ‘a total lack of leadership’ and warned he was poised to send in troops. This tweet was not hidden by Twitter.
Break-off protests over Floyd’s death also erupted across several states, with disturbing footage showing the driver of a black SUV appearing to deliberately mow down a Black Lives Matter protester in Denver last night.
Mayhem continued around the US Friday morning, this time with protesters gathering near a Florida town home that belongs to a white Minneapolis police officer who knelt on George Floyd’s neck.
The protesters gathered Friday after social media postings that listed the address of Derek Chauvin in the community of address Windermere outside Orlando.
They carried signs reading: ‘He said I can´t breathe. Justice for George,’ and ‘We see you, we hear you … we love you! #Justice for George.’
The Orange County Sheriff’s Office tweeted from its official account that Chauvin is not at the residence and is not expected there. The office says it’s confirmed he has no plans to be in the area.
In Southern California, nine people were arrested after rocks were thrown at businesses, vehicles and officers during a protest in Fontana where about 100 people moved up and down a thoroughfare and blocked traffic.
Police said an unlawful assembly was declared and the crowd was ordered to disperse but some persisted.
Elsewhere in the region, demonstrators gathered outside Los Angeles police headquarters but there was no repeat of Wednesday evening’s action in which protesters blocked freeways and attacked two Highway Patrol cruisers.
Another burnt out car is seen with its windows blown out and tires melted off after the city was set on fire
Out of control fires rage on and looting continues as authorities struggle to regain control early Friday
Law enforcement officers amassed along Lake Street near Hiawatha Ave. as fires burned after a night of unrest and protests
Police hold a line on the fourth day of protests on May 29
Chaos also spread over in New Mexico where four people in Albuquerque were taken into custody near a protest after gunshots were fired from a vehicle. There were no reports of injuries from the gunshots and it wasn’t clear whether that incident was related to the protest.
Albuquerque police used a helicopter and tear gas to disperse a crowd of people after several police cars had windows broken out during an confrontation with ‘an angry mob.’ Department spokesman Gilbert Gallegos said no injuries were reported.
In New York City, NYPD officers were seen brawling on the ground with protesters as at least 70 people were arrested in the Big Apple.
Protesters in Ohio smashed the windows of the statehouse in downtown Columbus and raided the building and demonstrators damaged a police cruiser in downtown Los Angeles.
New York City, New York: Police and a protester tackle each other in the streets of Manhattan
New York City, New York: A demonstrator is pinned to the floor by officers as things turned violent
New York City, New York: Protesters also accused police of violence towards them, with reports that one officer but his knee on a protester’s neck – the same restraint that ultimately led to Floyd’s death Monday
LA, California: In downtown LA, protests entered the second day after a demonstrator was injured falling from a police cruiser Wednesday
LA, California: On Thursday, the crowds were smaller as they gathered outside the Los Angeles Police Department headquarters
Denver, Colorado: Several hundred people had gathered at the state Capitol before marching down Lincoln Street and Broadway where they blocked traffic
Denver, Colorado: What started as a peaceful march calling for justice over Floyd’s death descended into chaos as shots were fired
The dark past of ‘when the looting starts, the shooting starts’: How Donald Trump used warning issued by notoriously anti-black Miami police chief during 1968 protests
President Donald Trump, in his controversial tweet on the Minneapolis riot that was flagged by Twitter, quoted a former Miami police chief known for violent reprisals on black protesters in the 1960s.
‘When the looting starts, the shooting starts,’ Trump wrote in a tweet, that the company muzzled – but left online in case people wanted to read it – because they said it ‘violated Twitter rules about glorifying violence.’
The words echoed the ones used by late Miami police chief Walter Headley, who issued a ‘get tough’ policy on black protesters during race riots in the city in the 1960s.
Miami policemen, one holding the man’s arm and the other with an arm lock on his neck, drag away a Negro youth during a clash between police and rioters in that city’s predominantly Negro Liberty City district in August 1968
‘We haven’t had any serious problems with civil uprising and looting,’ Headley said at a December 1967 news conference The New York Times reported at the time, ‘because I’ve let the word filter down that when the looting starts, the shooting starts.’
‘We don’t mind being accused of police brutality,’ Headley noted. ‘They haven’t seen anything yet.’
Headley’s words angered black leaders. That and his aggressive policies against blacks have been cited as major factors that contributed to the race riots in the city during the late 1960s, particularly in 1968 when Republicans were in town for their Republican National Convention.
While Richard Nixon accepted his party’s nomination, across the bay from Miami Beach, blacks in Miami’s Liberty neighborhood protested working conditions and treatment of blacks. Police intervened and two protesters were killed.
The president’s tweet was in response to protesters in Minneapolis who set fire to a police station there as a part of series of demonstrations throughout the country in support of George Floyd, the African American man who died when a white police officer pressed a knee into his neck.
The president called the demonstrators in Minnesota ‘thugs’ and threatened to send in the National Guard and get ‘the job done right.’
Twitter put a warning on the tweet less than three hours later, a move that came after the president designed an executive order seeking to strip social media companies of their legal protections, potentially exposing them to a flood of lawsuits.
In Kentucky, seven people were shot in downtown Louisville during a protest demanding justice for black woman Breonna Taylor who was shot dead by cops back in March, as the Floyd case reignited tensions between cops and the African-American community.
President Trump waded in on the escalating violence in Minneapolis in the early hours of Friday as he warned he would step in and take over if officials fail to bring the rioting under control.
He blasted the ‘Radical Left Mayor’ Frey saying he needs to ‘get his act together’ while slamming protesters for ‘dishonoring the memory’ of Floyd and warning ‘when the looting starts, the shooting starts’.
‘I can’t stand back & watch this happen to a great American City, Minneapolis. A total lack of leadership. Either the very weak Radical Left Mayor, Jacob Frey, get his act together and bring the City under control, or I will send in the National Guard & get the job done right…..,’ the president tweeted.
‘These THUGS are dishonoring the memory of George Floyd, and I won’t let that happen. Just spoke to Governor Tim Walz and told him that the Military is with him all the way. Any difficulty and we will assume control but, when the looting starts, the shooting starts. Thank you!’
Speaking in the early hours of this morning, Mayor Frey fired back at the president and said: ‘Donald Trump knows nothing about the strength of Minneapolis.’
‘Weakness is refusing to take responsibility for your own actions. Weakness is pointing your finger at someone else during a time of crisis,’ he said.
‘Is this a difficult time period? Yes, but you’d better be damn sure that we’re going to get through this.’
Frey said he understood the ‘pain and anger right now in our city’, but added that ‘what we have seen over the last several hours and the past couple of nights in terms of looting is unacceptable’.
The mayor revealed it was him who had decided to evacuate the Third Precinct after determining that there were ‘imminent threats to both officers and public’.
‘The symbolism of a building cannot outweigh the importance of life, of our officers or the public. We could not risk serious injury to anyone,’ he said. ‘Brick and mortar is not as important as life.’
Minneapolis city officials issued a warning for protesters and residents to flee the scene of the Third Police Precinct as gas lines were cut because ‘other explosive materials are in the building’.
‘If you are near the building, for your safety, PLEASE RETREAT in the event the building explodes,’ the city government wrote in a Twitter update shortly before midnight.
Protesters broke into the police precinct at around 10pm, smashing up windows and setting fires inside.
As flames engulfed the building, protesters gathered out the front chanting ‘I can’t breathe’ – some of the last words Floyd said before he died.
Minneapolis Police released a statement saying that officers had fled the scene: ‘In the interest of the safety of our personnel, the Minneapolis Police Department evacuated the 3rd Precinct of its staff. Protesters forcibly entered the building and have ignited several fires.’
As law enforcement buckled under the strain of the escalating civil unrest, the Minnesota National Guard announced that around 500 soldiers had headed to Minneapolis and nearby St. Paul which has also fallen foul of rioting with businesses looted and set alight.
Footage in the early evening showed the Minneapolis Target store being targeted for a second day in a row as rioters were seen hurling the retailer’s shopping karts at a police cruiser in the store parking lot.
In the nearby St. Paul region of Minnesota, rioters threw rocks and stones at a cop car and it was left smashed up with a tree branch ripping through the windows.
Police in riot gear hit out at protesters again spraying tear gas into the crowds, while demonstrators gathered outside the home of white cop Derek Chauvin who knelt on Floyd’s neck until he passed out and later died.
As night fell, the scenes worsened with a man pictured throwing a mannequin onto a burning car as billowing smoke filled the air.
Businesses and cars were ablaze with aerial footage showing the city lit up by roaring flames.
Police in St. Paul revealed that more than 170 businesses had been damaged or looted in Minneapolis’s twin city, but there were no reports of serious injuries.
‘Calm on the horizon,’ police said in a midnight update as they vowed to work ‘shoulder-to-shoulder with local, state, federal and fire partners to protect St. Paul’.
Twitter flags Donald Trump’s ‘when the looting starts the shooting starts’ threat for ‘inciting violence’ AGAIN after he repeats it on White House account amid furious attacks at platform for ‘targeting’ him
Twitter flagged President Trump’s tweet saying it was ‘glorifying violence’ for a second time after the official White House account reposted it Friday morning.
‘These THUGS are dishonoring the memory of George Floyd, and I won’t let that happen. Just spoke to Governor Tim Walz and told him that the Military is with him all the way. Any difficulty and we will assume control but, when the looting starts, the shooting starts. Thank you!’ the tweet read.
There’s been chaos in the Minnesota city since a white police officer took the life of a black man, George Floyd, by kneeing him in the neck until he stopped breathing.
President Trump tweeted Friday morning that Twitter needed to be ‘regulated’ after the site put a warning label on one of his tweets about the Minneapolis riots
Shortly after complaining about Twitter putting a warning label over his tweet, the White House’s official Twitter account reposted the message verbatim
The White House’s version of the tweet was also flagged for violating Twitter’s rules about ‘glorifying violence’
Trump initially posted it from his @realDonaldTrump account at 1 a.m. Friday.
The company attached a warning label to the tweet saying that it violated the rules.
When the president woke up Friday morning, he began angrily attacking Twitter.
‘Twitter is doing nothing about all of the lies & propaganda being put out by China or the Radical Left Democrat Party. They have targeted Republicans, Conservatives & the President of the United States,’ the president wrote. ‘Section 230 should be revoked by Congress. Until then, it will be regulated!’
He then had the official White House account repost the flagged tweet verbatim, daring the social media company to act.
The @WhiteHouse’s account continued to engage in the battle, by linking to a tweet sent out by Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, last week that called for #jihad against Israel.
‘This Tweet violated the Twitter Rules about glorifying violence. However, Twitter has determined that it will allow terrorists, dictators, and foreign propagandists to abuse its platform,’ a tweet from the official White House account read.
On the original offending Trump tweet, Twitter put a warning on it less than three hours later, saying it had ‘taken action in the interest of preventing others from being inspired to commit violent acts’. Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey was informed in advance.
The tweet can no longer be liked or replied to and will not be recommended by Twitter’s algorithm, although retweets with comment are still possible – with Trump’s message initially hidden.
It is still possible to override the warning message and view the tweet, under special rules for government officials which protect the public’s right to know what their politicians have said.
Trump has feuded with the social media site in recent days for fact-checking his tweets.
Also on Friday morning, he quoted Fox News’ Maria Bartiromo saying, ‘he President has been targeted by Twitter.’
Trump then added, ‘What about all of the lies and fraudulent statements made by Adam Schiff, and so many others, on the Russian Witch Hunt Plus, Plus, Plus? What about China’s propaganda? WHO’s mistakes? No flags?’ he asked.
He then quoted Jeanine Pirro, a pro-Trump Fox News personality, who also called for regulating Twitter.
The president had signed an executive order Thursday seeking to strip social media giants of their legal protections, potentially exposing them to a flood of lawsuits- but backed Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg who distanced himself from Twitter.
Twitter had put a fact-checking label on two of Trump’s tweets on Tuesday which claimed that mail-in voting in the 2020 election would be ‘substantially fraudulent.’
And then attached the warning label to his 1 a.m. Friday tweet.
That message was a reply to an initial tweet – not red-flagged by Twitter – which took aim at the Democratic mayor of Minneapolis for his handling of the crisis.
Twitter announced the ‘public interest notice’ on the ‘shooting’ tweet around three hours after Trump had sent the message.
The social media giant said Trump’s tweet ‘violates our policies regarding the glorification of violence based on the historical context of the last line, its connection to violence, and the risk it could inspire similar actions today’.
‘As is standard with this notice, engagements with the tweet will be limited. People will be able to retweet with comment, but will not be able to like, reply or retweet it,’ a statement explained.
However, Twitter said it is ‘in the public interest for the tweet to remain accessible’ given its ‘relevance to ongoing matters of public importance’.
Tweets from elected officials are exempt from the usual rules because there is a ‘significant public interest in knowing and being able to discuss their actions and statements’, the company’s policies say.
‘As a result, in rare instances, we may choose to leave up a Tweet from an elected or government official that would otherwise be taken down.’
These exemptions are only available to accounts with more than 100,000 followers. Trump has more than 80million.
The website told Axios that ‘teams within Twitter’ had decided to red-flag the president’s tweet and that CEO Jack Dorsey was informed before it happened.
Minneapolis, Minnesota: Protesters take over the Minneapolis police 3rd Precinct building Thursday
Minneapolis, Minnesota: Thousands of rioters demonstrating outside a burning liquor store (top right) and the burning police precinct (bottom right)
Minneapolis, Minnesota: Protesters are seen inside Minneapolis Police third precinct after setting fire to the entrance as demonstrations continue
Minneapolis, Minnesota: Smoke was seen filling the corridors of the police precinct last night, with demonstrators running amok through the building, spraying graffiti on the walls and breaking furniture
Minneapolis, Minnesota: Rioters pile furniture onto a bonfire within the police station last night after the cops evacuated the building at around 10pm
Minneapolis, Minnesota: A rioter is seen walking through the police precinct which is filled with debris, its windows shattered and graffiti sprayed on the walls
Minneapolis, Minnesota: Protesters outside the burning police station last night. One holds a sign which says: ‘I can’t breathe,’ those the words uttered by George Floyd as a police officer knelt on his neck
Minneapolis, Minnesota: Protestors demonstrate outside of a burning Minneapolis 3rd Police Precinct on Thursday night
Minneapolis, Minnesota: A pawn shop going up in flames last night down the street from the police station which was the epicenter of carnage
Minneapolis, Minnesota: A pawn shop down the street from the 3rd precinct burns to the ground on Thursday night
Minneapolis, Minnesota: Thousands of protesters pack the streets around the burning police precinct building late into Thursday night
Minneapolis, Minnesota: Protesters demonstrate outside of a burning fast food restaurant in the early hours of Friday morning on the third night of rioting in Minneapolis