Minneapolis mayor, police chief announce curfew; National Guard called in by Gov. Walz to address unrest in downtown area

Charlie Wiese & Tommy Wiita
Updated: August 27, 2020 09:46 AM
Created: August 26, 2020 09:47 PM

Wednesday night, Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey announced that the city has requested National Guard help as civil unrest erupts in Minneapolis following misinformation surrounding a suicide of a homicide suspect.

Frey also announced a curfew that went into effect immediately Wednesday night. The curfew was lifted at 6 a.m. Thursday. 

Frey also declared a state of emergency for the city of Minneapolis. The emergency will be in effect for up to 72 hours, subject to action by the Minneapolis City Council to either extend it or terminate it. Those that are exempt include law enforcement, firefighters, medical personnel, members of the media and other personnel authorized by the city. Additionally, those traveling directly to and from work, and that are seeking care, fleeing dangerous circumstances or experiencing homelessness are also exempt. 

The mayor said he and Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz had been in contact to address the situation, as well as with Arradondo and the Department of Public Safety Commissioner John Harrington. The decision to bring in extra enforcement was to "stay ahead of the game as much as possible," according to Frey. 

"What we're calling for right now is peace. What we're calling for right now is for people to return to their homes," Frey said during a press conference Wednesday night. 

Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo urged those to leave downtown and if they have loved ones downtown to call them and tell them to leave immediately. He also dispelled the rumors floating around on social media. 

"This is not an officer-related incident," he said. "We're compounding more tragedy by the destruction and folks wanting to do harm to our communities in our downtown sector this evening."

"This is my city. We will not tolerate that," he continued. 

As for the National Guard, Walz pledged his full support, also directing 150 Minnesota State Patrol troopers to provide support to mitigate unrest. They will assist Minneapolis police in dispersing of crowds, prevent looting and making arrests for any violations of law.

"Minneapolis, it's time to heal. We must rebuild and recover. Dangerous, unlawful behavior will not be tolerated. The Minnesota National Guard and State Patrol are headed to Minneapolis to help restore order. I remain in close contact with the city and every state resource stands ready to help bring peace," said Walz.  

Citing unlawful and dangerous looting and violence in the downtown area of Minneapolis, the governor has also mobilized a military police unit, in response to a request from the city of Minneapolis. 

VIDEO: Police release video of homicide suspect shooting himself to dispel rumors of police involvement; active situation reported in Nicollet Mall area

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