Updated: May 28, 2020 06:18 PM
Created: May 28, 2020 12:44 PM
St. Paul police are asking people to avoid parts of the city as crowd sizes increase Thursday.
Police asked people to avoid the areas near the 1400 block of University Avenue, the 1700 block of Suburban Avenue, and others.
Police said officers in those areas have been hit with rocks, liquor bottles and bricks.
Officers are having rocks, liquor bottles and bricks thrown at them in the area of the Target on University Avenue.— Saint Paul Police Department (@sppdmn) May 28, 2020
We are working to peacefully get the crowd to disperse.
Squad cars have been damaged by rocks, bricks, bottles and other items being thrown at officers.— Saint Paul Police Department (@sppdmn) May 28, 2020
More dispersal orders being given by officers.
St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter expressed his thoughts on the situation via Twitter Thursday afternoon.
The situation in our city right now is heartbreaking & rapidly devolving. I’m angry/ sad as anyone & pushing for the officers who killed George Floyd to be arrested ASAP. Destroying places we rely on for jobs, food & medicine won’t help us prevent it from happening again.— Melvin Carter (@melvincarter3) May 28, 2020
Please stay home. Please do not come here to protest. Please keep the focus on George Floyd, on advancing our movement, and on preventing this from ever happening again. We can all be in that fight together.— Melvin Carter (@melvincarter3) May 28, 2020
The St. Paul Police Department also reported a fire at TJ Maxx on the 1400 block of University Avenue.
A Fire has been reported at TJ Maxx on the 1400 block of University Avenue.— Saint Paul Police Department (@sppdmn) May 28, 2020
The department later said officers were still being hit with rocks and bottles thrown by people who were also breaking into buildings, looting and destroying property. They urged people to stay away from the Midway area.
Please stay away from the Midway area, near Target on University Avenue.— Saint Paul Police Department (@sppdmn) May 28, 2020
We continue to work to disperse the crowds, protect people and protect property. However, our officers continue to be assaulted and the area is not safe.
Meanwhile, dozens of people tried to loot the Midway Target in St. Paul Thursday.
According to St. Paul Police, a group of 50 to 60 people tried to overwhelm the store's staff. However, police arrived and confronted the group, and the people then dropped the items they'd grabbed and fled.
Immediately afterward, a fight broke out in the store's parking lot, and a person was nearly run over by a vehicle. Despite that, police said no injuries were reported.
The group also attempted to go into nearby small businesses but were stopped by police.
Target on Thursday released the following statement:
"We are heartbroken by the death of George Floyd and the pain it is causing our community. At this time, we have made the decision to close a number of our stores until further notice. Our focus will remain on our team members' safety and helping our community heal."
The company has also closed several of its stores.
Chopper 5 shows police presence at the St. Paul Target and the surrounding area, watch the video in the player below.
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