Updated: May 29, 2020 08:11 AM
Created: May 29, 2020 06:19 AM
Fire crews moved throughout Minneapolis and St. Paul Friday morning after a third night of violent protests following the death of George Floyd, who died in a confrontation with officers outside a grocery store.
Smoke billowed across the Twin Cities as 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS crews captured video and reported on the situation in both cities.
Friday morning, a 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS crew reported seeing hundreds of National Guard soliders throughout the city.
The National Guard reported 500 soldiers had been activated to respond to protests over George Floyd's death.
In Minneapolis Friday morning, KSTP's Ashley Zilka reported near East Lake Street and 22nd Avenue South that soldiers had created a barricade and were warning people they would be arrested if they attempted to enter blocked off areas.
Meanwhile, widespread damage to buildings and vehicles was reported.
KSTP Traffic Reporter Josie Smith reported seeing new fires Friday morning on traffic cameras near Cedar Avenue and 9th Street as well as one just west of Hiawatha Avenue.
The city of Minneapolis issued an alert asking those in the area of the 3rd Precinct to move away from the area in the event of a potential gas leak.
Meanwhile, Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey responded to the damage in the city during a news conference early Friday morning.
"Brick and mortar are not as important as life," he said. "The symbolism of a building cannot outweigh the significance of life."
In St. Paul
Protests and looting spread into neighboring St. Paul Thursday into Friday.
Friday morning, St. Paul crews remained at fire scenes, working to extinguish hotspots.
According to the St. Paul police department, more than 170 businesses were damaged or looted and there were dozens of fires.
As Thursday turns to Friday, our officers continue to work shoulder-to-shoulder with local, state, federal and fire partners to protect St. Paul.— Saint Paul Police Department (@sppdmn) May 29, 2020
More than 170 businesses damaged or looted. Dozens of fires. Thankfully, no reports of serious injuries. Calm on the horizon.
Walz to address state response, attorney representing Floyd's family to respond
Friday morning, Gov. Tim Walz is expected to address the state's response to the protests. That news conference is set to begin at 10 a.m.
Additionally, the attorneys representing Floyd's family as well as the families of Ahmaud Arbery, who was killed in Georgia in February, and Breonna Taylor, killed in Kentucky in March, are set to hold a joint, virtual news conference, also at 10 a.m.
This is a developing news story. KSTP is working to get more details on this story and will post updates as more information becomes available.
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