Minneapolis mayor, city leaders call for peaceful protests

After violent protests broke out in south Minneapolis Wednesday night and Thursday morning in reaction to the death of George Floyd, Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey and city leaders again called for peaceful protests in the city.

The mayor said to those feeling anger and sadness, "It’s not only understandable, it’s right."

However, Frey called on those who plan to protest the death of Floyd to do so peacefully.

"I believe in Minneapolis, I love Minneapolis," Frey said. "And in believing in our city, we must believe that we can be better than we have been. We must confront our shortcomings with humility, as well as hope. We must restore the peace so we can do this hard work together."

Frey went on to say that he has authorized a "unified command structure" that allows police officials to utilize resources and personnel from other jurisdictions. He added that he has requested assistance from the state.

"This work is about protecting community," Frey said. "This work is about protecting infrastructure needed to get through this pandemic together."

Wednesday night and Thursday morning, a number of businesses in south Minneapolis were looted or set on fire.

Minnneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo spoke about some of the chaos that occurred Wednesday night and Thursday morning.
Arradondo said those wanting to express their right to protest will have his support.

"That being said, even prior to Mr. Floyd’s death, we have had a community that has been in trauma for quite some time," he said. "And what I cannot allow as chief is for others to compound that trauma."

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Arradondo said he committed to securing "peace and security in our community."

During the press conference, City Council Vice President Andrea Jenkins joined Frey and Arradondo for peaceful protests.

"I want to remind all people in the streets protesting, you have absolute right to be angry, to be upset, to be mad, to express your anger," Jenkins said. "However, you have no right to perpetrate violence and harm on the very communities that you say you are standing up for.

"We need peace and calm in our streets and I am begging you for that."

Jenkins and the other community leaders also spoke of the importance of creating healing spaces throughout the community. Jenkins specifically cited the importance of having such places at the third precinct, where a large amount of damage occurred.

"We want to work together to ensure that people have their voices heard in a safe manner," she said. "And that’s my commitment."