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National Guard support requested by city to combat violent protests in south Minneapolis

KSTP
Updated: May 28, 2020 09:54 AM
Created: May 27, 2020 07:49 PM

Protests continued into Wednesday night in south Minneapolis, where Chopper 5 captured video of apparent looting at a nearby Target and other area businesses. Fires have sprung up around the area as well. 

Gov. Tim Walz tweeted late Wednesday night, calling the situation near Lake Street and Hiawatha Avenue an "extremely dangerous situation." 

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The protests are happening in response to the death of George Floyd, who was killed Monday night after an incident that involved Minneapolis Police officers. All four officers involved in the arrest were fired on Tuesday. 

Protesters were seen on Chopper 5 footage throwing bottles and rocks at law enforcement, while officers responded with rubber bullets, flash bombs and tear gas to push them back. 

Some looters at the East Lake Street Target location were seen walking out with televisions, rugs and other items from the store. Other looters were seen at a tobacco store, a Dollar Tree and a liquor store. Additionally, Cub Foods and an AutoZone is being looted as well. 

The AutoZone was set on fire as of 9:30 p.m. It could be seen burning on Chopper 5 video.

A source has confirmed to KSTP that the city requested support from the National Guard late Wednesday night to combat the ongoing violent protests. 

A Target spokesperson made the following statement: "We are heartbroken by the death of George Floyd and the pain it is causing our community. We decided to close our Lake Street store earlier today and worked to ensure all of our team members were accounted for and safe. Our focus will remain on our team members’ safety and helping our community heal. Until further notice, our store will remain closed."

KSTP has a crew on scene to gather more information. The Minneapolis Police Department said they are aware of what is happening in the area and are working on the matter. They advise all to stay out of the area for the time being. 

Minnesota Sen. Tina Smith shared her thoughts on the night's protests.

Metro Transit has announced that Routes 5 and 23 are being detoured around the area.

Walz also posted a series of tweets earlier Wednesday night calling on people to be peaceful if they choose to protest.

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey tweeted a statement urging others to keep the peace. 

Minneapolis Senators Jeff Hayden and Patricia Torres Ray also made a joint statement on Thursday saying: 

"We, along with our constituents, are deeply heartbroken and outraged by the injustice that occurred in the officer-involved death of George Floyd. As our community continues to grieve and grapple with this incredibly unjustifiable loss of life, we believe in their right to peacefully protest. We have grown increasingly concerned, for the safety of the City of Minneapolis and its residents, as the demonstration has escalated. More than ever, our community must come together during this hard time and in this work to fiercely advocate for the justice that is needed. We are eager to effectively partner with community organizers, leaders, activists, and advocates to prevent the loss of another life due to excessive use of force."

This is a developing story. KSTP is working to confirm more information as it comes in. Be sure to refresh your browser for the latest updates.


More from KSTP:

Minneapolis Police Chief Arradondo: 5 arrests made at protest, some property damage 'significant'

Peaceful demonstrations continue outside Cup Foods where George Floyd died



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