Minnesota protest live updates: Protesters would’ve faced ‘vicious dogs’: Trump – National News

Written by on May 30, 2020


Evgen_Prozhyrko/iStockBy ELLA TORRES, WILLIAM MANSELL, CHRISTINA CARREGA and IVAN PEREIRA, ABC News

(MINNEAPOLIS) — The death of George Floyd, a black man who was seen pinned down in a video by a white police officer and later died, has caused outrage in the city of Minneapolis and across the United States. What started as mostly peaceful protests at the beginning of the week has turned into chaos.

City leaders have pleaded with communities to voice their outrage in a lawful manner, but the widespread escalation of protests continued Friday night into Saturday.

Murder and manslaughter charges have been filed against Derek Chauvin, one of the four officers at the scene who were all fired. The Department of Justice has said a full investigation of the incident is a “top priority.”

Prosecutors said Chauvin, who was the officer seen in video pressing his knee against Floyd’s neck, had his knee on Floyd’s neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds. Floyd was unresponsive for two minutes and 53 seconds of the encounter.

This story will be updated as protests continue throughout the country. Please check back for updates. All times Eastern.

1:35 p.m.: Atlanta’s mayor denounces protests that turned to ‘destruction’

“What we saw overnight was not a protest, and it was not Atlanta … We know our citizens are angry. We are angry and we want justice,” said Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms in a statement on Saturday.

Friday night’s protest in Atlanta, Georgia, started out as “a peaceful demonstration, quickly turned into mayhem and unnecessary destruction, and ultimately an assault on businesses that are already struggling to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Lance Bottoms.

The protests were a result of the most recent police-involved killings of African Americans across the country as well as the murder of Ahmaud Arbery who was shot while jogging on Feb. 23 in Satilla Shores, Georgia.

The city’s Department of Public Works have been cleaning up the streets, the Department of Transportation is removing graffiti and the National Guard has been contacted for assistance in order to “help our city recover,” said Lance Bottoms.

“If we are to enact change in this nation, I implore everyone to channel their anger and sorrow into something more meaningful and effective through non-violent activism,” said Lance Bottoms.

1:16 p.m.: A federal officer died, another injured in California

One Federal Protective Service officer has died, and another was wounded Friday night, the FBI said in a statement to ABC News.

As an arm of the Department of Homeland Security., FPS officers are responsible for protecting federal buildings across the country.

A car pulled up to the building and started firing, according to the FBI.

The agency doesn’t say if the incident was related to protests in the city.

22 people were arrested during demonstrations in the Oakland Friday night, according to authorities.

The Department of Homeland Security has not responded to ABC News’ request for comment

12:18 p.m.: A mayor in Mississippi faces backlash for ‘breathe’ comments

The mayor of Petal, Mississippi, is facing backlash and calls for him to resign after justifying former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin for keeping his knee on George Floyd’s neck.

“If you can say you can’t breathe, you’re breathing,” Mayor Hal Marx wrote on his now deactivated Twitter account on May 26 — the same day Chauvin was seen on a 10-minute video kneeling on Floyd.

Similar remarks were made after former NYPD Officer Daniel Pantaleo was seen on video using an alleged unauthorized chokehold to allegedly kill Eric Garner in 2014. Garner’s last words, “I can’t breathe” became a national rallying cry against police violence.

Marx defended his remarks on Twitter, and his deactivated Facebook page as misinterpretations.

The Petal Board of Aldermen held a special meeting on Thursday, voting unanimously to ask for Marx’s resignation, The Clarion Ledger reported.

Marx has refused to step aside.

10:58 a.m.: NYPD arrested over 200 during protests

Demonstrations throughout New York City Friday night resulted in the arrest of over 200, including one person in Brooklyn who had a loaded gun and a woman who was armed with a lit Molotov cocktail.

More than 3000 demonstrators gathered in Foley Square and outside Barclays Center, police said.

At the height of the protests, 37 patrol cars were vandalized with graffiti and broken windows, a police van was set on fire and a Molotov cocktail was thrown into an occupied police car — the officers inside were not hurt.

There were more than a dozen officers injured, ranging from teeth knocked out to shoulder and head injuries.

10:47 a.m.: 1,000 more National Guard service members activated in Minnesota

Governor Tim Walz announced on Saturday morning that an additional thousand members of the National Guard will be deployed to “support civil authorities” during protests over the murder of George Floyd.

“Our communities of color, our business community were out front fighting hand in hand to save businesses it took a decade to build,” said Walz during a press conference Saturday morning.

Protests turned violent with fires set across the city, objects were thrown at the police and dozens have been arrested, officials said. Over 700 soldiers and air service members’ duty were activated overnight.

What’s happening in the city is in “no way about the murder of George Floyd it’s about attacking civil society and installing fear,” said Walz.

“We cannot as members of the community tolerate that,” said Minneapolis Public Safety Commissioner John Harrington at a press conference on Saturday.

Officials said only about 20% of the rioters are Minnesota residents.

Walz noted that practicing First Amendment rights should also involve practicing COVID-19 guidelines, but “the folks that are gathering out there … the masks were worn to disguise, to cause confusion and take advantage of that situation.”

“The Minnesota National Guard is prepared to protect life, protect property and restore order,” according to a press release by the state’s National Guard.

9:24 a.m.: FBI director calls George Floyd investigation “a top priority”

ABC News has obtained a message to FBI employees sent by FBI Director Chris Wray, on Friday. In it, Wray said the investigation into the circumstances surrounding George Floyd’s death “is a top priority, and experienced prosecutors and FBI agents have been assigned to the matter.” He said the investigation “will determine whether the actions by the former Minneapolis police officers involved in this incident violated federal law.”

He also wrote about how damaging the failure to honor the rights of citizens, particularly those in custody, can be.

“Law enforcement officers have indispensable and often dangerous jobs, but that doesn’t diminish the crucial, overarching role we play in society – to protect and serve all citizens no matter their race, creed, orientation, or station in life. This, of course, includes those citizens who are in law enforcement custody,” Wray said.

“When we fail to honor their rights, we not only tarnish the badge we wear, we completely erode the trust so many of us in law enforcement work so hard to build, particularly within minority communities. The events this past week in Minneapolis clearly illustrate just how quickly that trust can be lost,” the message stated.”

8:41 a.m.: White House protesters would have been met with “most vicious dogs,” “most ominous weapons,” president tweets

President Trump fired off a series of tweets Saturday morning praising the Secret Service after protesters marched in front of the White House Friday night.

“They were not only totally professional, but very cool,” he president tweeted. “They let the “protesters” scream & rant as much as they wanted…” he wrote.

The president also wrote that if protestors had become “too frisky” or “got out of line,” “they would quickly come down on them,” he wrote. He also tweeted that if protesters had breached the White House fence, they would have been “greeted with the most vicious dogs, and most ominous weapons, I have ever seen.”

He also took a jab at D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser. “On the bad side, the D.C. Mayor, @MurielBowser, who is always looking for money & help, wouldn’t let the D.C. Police get involved. “Not their job.” Nice!,” the president tweeted.

8:19 a.m.: FBI issues statement on Oakland shooting

The Federal Bureau of Investigation issued a statement after one person was killed, and another injured in a shooting at that took place while protests were happening in Oakland, California. FBI San Francisco and Oakland police are investigating, but it is unknown yet if the shooting is connected to the protest.

“FBI San Francisco and the Oakland Police Department are investigating a shooting that occurred at the Ronald V. Dellums Federal Building at 1301 Clay Street in Oakland, California.,” the statement read. “At approximately 9:45pm on Friday, May 29, 2020, a vehicle approached the building. An individual inside the vehicle began firing gunshots at contract security officers for the Federal Protective Service of the Department of Homeland Security. One officer was killed and another was injured,” according to the statement.

“The FBI has deployed investigators and the Evidence Response Team to the crime scene. We will continue to work this investigation alongside the Oakland Police Department,” the statement continued.

7:24 a.m.: Portland mayor declares State of Emergency

Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler announced Saturday morning that he’s declaring a State of Emergency in the city following the destructive unrest in the wake of the death of Floyd.

He also announced the city has a curfew in effect until 6 a.m. local time Saturday and will begin again at 8 p.m.

“Burning buildings with people inside, stealing from small and large businesses, threatening and harassing reporters. All in the middle of a pandemic where people have already lost everything,” Wheeler said in a statement Saturday. “This isn’t calling for meaningful change in our communities, this is disgusting.”

Overnight the Portland Police Department declared the protest as a riot after “significant vandalism” was reported and a fire was set inside the city’s Justice Center. Police said there was also a shooting connected to the protest.

Police said large sections of downtown were closed and that protesters should “disperse now or you will be subject to gas, projectiles, and other means necessary for dispersal.”

5:43 a.m.: 1 dead in Detroit after person opens fire on protesters from vehicle

One person is dead in Detroit after a vehicle drove up on people protesting the death of Floyd and opened fire, according to authorities.

A gray Dodge Durango pulled up and fired into the crowd, hitting a 19-year-old man who later died at the hospital, a Detroit Police Department spokesperson told ABC affiliate WXYZ.

Detroit Police Chief James Craig said the violence and destruction overnight is not what the city of Detroit is about.

“This does not represent the vast major of Detroiters who came here to make a statement,” Craig said during a press conference Friday night. “We support the message, but let’s do it peacefully.”

He said many of the people taunting police officers and trying to incite violence have come from outside the city to sow chaos.

“We know that the individuals from outside the city of Detroit who converged at the protest location don’t represent this city. They are not from this city,” Craig said. “Let’s peacefully protest, but outside of that, we’re not going to tolerate it. We’re not going to tolerate criminal acts.”

4:26 a.m.: ‘Prudent’ to have Army units ready to deploy to Minnesota, governor says

As fires raged and protests escalated even further throughout Minneapolis Saturday morning, local and state officials said getting the chaos under control will take a response never before seen in the state because “there’s simply more of them than us.”

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz said at least 1,000 additional Minnesota National Guard troops would be activated Saturday, and even then, that might not be enough.

“You may have seen or heard that, this evening, the president directed the Pentagon to put units of United States Army on alert to possible operation in Minneapolis,” Maj. General John Jensen, Adjutant General of the Minnesota National Guard, said during a press conference Saturday. “While we were not consulted with, as it relates to that, I do believe it’s a prudent move to provide other options available for the governor, if the governor elects to use those resources.”

Walz said it’s more complicated than just saying yes and deploying them now because the move to have federal troops patrolling in Minneapolis would be something never before seen in the state.

“I spoke with President Trump the other night, I think it is prudent to have them ready for us to exhaust all resources that we need,” Walz said Saturday.

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey and Walz angrily took to the podium Saturday morning to ask those setting fires, attacking officers and looting businesses to stop.

“We as a city can be so much better than this,” Frey said at the press conference Saturday. “There is no honor in burning down your city. There is no pride in looting local businesses that have become institutions of a neighborhood.”

He said people, especially during a pandemic, are counting on grocery stores being open to get groceries, pharmacies to get needed medicine and banks to get money.

“If you care about your community, you got to put this to an end; it needs to stop,” Frey said.

Walz said the tragedy of Floyd’s death has morphed into “an unprecedented threat to our state,” where those causing destruction have no regard to property or life.

Dozens of arrests were made on Friday, but an official total has not been released for the city. In one instance, shots were fired at law enforcement officers overnight.

1:48 a.m.: Shots fired at law enforecment officers in Minnesota

Shots were fired at law enforcement officers in Minneapolis early Saturday morning near the police department’s Fifth Precinct, according to Minnesota State Police. No officers are believed to have been hit.

Following the shots, authorities warned residents to leave the area immediately or they would be arrested.

The Minnesota Department of Public Safety said there are 350 officers and troopers in the area and “officers have arrested several people who ignored multiple dispersal orders.”

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz pleaded with protesters overnight to go home.

“Minnesotans, please go home. It’s time to restore peace on our streets and in our neighborhoods,” Walz said in a statement. “The situation has become dangerous for Minnesotans and first responders.”

Protesters took over the Minnesota Police Department’s Third Precinct building late Thursday night and ignited several fires.

12:58 a.m.: LAPD asks residents to stay inside, businesses to close in downtown LA

The Los Angeles Police Department has asked downtown Los Angeles residents to stay inside and for all businesses to close due to the escalating protests in the city.

“We have declared an unlawful assembly throughout downtown LA,” the department said in a statement Friday. The areas impacted are from the 10 Freeway to the 101 Highway and the 110 Freeway to Alameda.

“This is being made following repeated acts of violence & property damage,” LAPD said. “Those on the street are to leave the area.”

The department previously asked people to avoid downtown Los Angeles Friday, including nearby side streets and freeways.

12:27 a.m.: Georgia issues State of Emergency, activates National Guard

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp announced Friday night that he has issued a State of Emergency for Fulton County, where protests have turned violent in downtown Atlanta. He also announced that he’s activating 500 Georgia National Guard members.

“At the request of Mayor @KeishaBottoms & in consultation with public safety & emergency preparedness officials, I have issued a State of Emergency for Fulton County to activate as many as 500 @GeorgiaGuard troops to protect people & property in Atlanta,” Kemp tweeted Friday.

He said the troops would deploy immediately to help local and state law enforcement officials get control of the “unlawful activity” and to “restore peace.”

“We will continue to make all state resources available to local leaders during this emergency situation,” he said.

10:21 p.m.: Protests grow violent in Brooklyn

Protests over the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis erupted Friday night in Brooklyn where there have been at least 150 arrests, police sources told ABC News.

The protest outside Barclays Center, the home of the NBA’s Brooklyn Nets, began peacefully, but drew what police sources described as professional agitators and turned ugly.

There were more than 100 protesters detained outside the arena, mainly for throwing bottles and other disturbances.

Protesters moved toward two police precincts in northern Brooklyn, the 88th Precinct in Fort Green and the 79th Precinct in Bedford-Stuyvesant. Along the way, a police van was set on fire and several cruisers were defaced with graffiti and broken windows.

Some 500 demonstrators massed outside the 88 Precinct, where the van was set on fire. There were about 40 arrests there.

Some demonstrators made it inside the 79 Precinct but were immediately arrested

There have been about a dozen officers hurt so far in clashes with the protesters.

9:21 p.m.: Atlanta sees violence spark outside CNN

A protest in Atlanta grew violent this evening as a handful of protesters began smashing the doors to CNN Headquarters just after 8 p.m., according to Atlanta ABC affiliate WSB.

After defacing the outside of the news network’s HQ and lighting a police car on fire, protesters began throwing objects at police who are inside the building’s lobby. Police were holding a line with shields.

“Above everything else, I am a mother. I am a mother to four black children in America, one of whom is 18 years old,” Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said at a press conference Friday night. “When i saw the murder of George Floyd I hurt like a mother would hurt. And yesterday when I heard about rumors of violent protests in Atlanta, I did what a mother would do, I called my son and said, ‘Where are you?’ I cannot protect you and black boys should not be out today.”

“So you’re not gonna out-concern me or out-care about where we are in America,” she added. “I wear this each and every day and I pray over my children each and every day.”

8:19 p.m.: Protest outside White House draws Secret Service

A protest this evening in Lafayette Park just north of the White House has drawn the assistance of the Secret Service.

Chants of “Let him breathe,” and, “don’t shoot,” could be heard.

The U.S. Secret Service tweeted, “Secret Service personnel are currently assisting other law enforcement agencies during a demonstration in Lafayette Park. In the interest of public safety we encourage all to remain peaceful.”

5:31 p.m.: Trump says he spoke to Floyd’s family

Trump told reporters at a business roundtable event Friday afternoon that he had spoken to the family of George Floyd, four days after his death.

“I spoke to members of the family. Terrific people. And we’ll be reporting as time goes by. We think that we’ll also have to make the statement,” Trump said. “It’s very important, I believe, to the family, to everybody that the memory of George Floyd be a perfect memory — let it be a perfect memory.”

The president also took the chance to emphasize peaceful protests, following controversial tweets earlier Friday in which he said “when the looting starts the shooting starts.”

“It’s very important that we have peaceful protesters and support the rights for peaceful protesters. We can’t allow a situation like happened in Minneapolis to descend further into lawless anarchy and chaos, and we understand that very well,” the president said. “The looters should not be allowed to drown out the voices of so many peaceful protesters.”

4:21 p.m.: Minneapolis, St. Paul enforce curfew

Gov. Tim Walz has said a curfew will be in place starting Friday night from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. on Saturday in the entire Twin Cities region.

No one will be allowed in the streets in public except for first responders and media. The curfew will also be in place Saturday night at 8 p.m. to Sunday 6 a.m.

“It’s time to rebuild our community and that starts with safety in our streets,” Walz said in a statement. “Thousands of Minnesotans have expressed their grief and frustration in a peaceful manner. But the unlawful and dangerous actions of others, under the cover of darkness, has caused irreversible pain and damage to our community. This behavior has compromised the safety of bystanders, businesses, lawful demonstrators, and first responders. Now, we come together to restore the peace.”

Officers will arrest those who do not comply, Walz said.

Earlier, Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey had already issued a curfew order for the city for the same times.

3:40 p.m.: Prosecutors reveal more details about charges on former officer

The Hennepin County Attorney released the full criminal complaint for former officer Derek Chauvin.

The 44-year-old officer who was filmed putting his knee on Floyd’s neck faces a maximum sentence of 25 years in prison for third-degree murder charges and a maximum of 10 years behind bars for manslaughter charges.

“Derek Michael Chauvin caused the death of George Floyd by his culpable negligence, creating an unreasonable risk and taking a chance of causing death or great bodily harm to George Floyd,” the complaint read.

“The defendant had his knee on Mr. Floyd’s neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds in total. Two minutes and 53 seconds of this was after Mr. Floyd was non-responsive,” according to the complaint.

3:07 p.m.: Floyd’s family responds to former officer’s arrest

While they said they were pleased with that he was apprehended, they said they expected first-degree murder charges.

“We call on authorities to revise the charges to reflect the true culpability of this officer,” they said in a statement.

The family also asked for the remaining three officers to be arrested and charged.

2:28 p.m.: Trump tweets against looting

President Trump again doubled down on his earlier remarks about the ongoing protests.

He tweeted again that “looting leads to shooting” citing “what just happened with 7 people shot.” In Minneapolis.

“I don’t want this to happen, and that’s what the expression put out last night means,” he tweeted

2:26 p.m.: Bill Barr releases statement on Floyd death

Attorney General Bill Barr said the Department of Justice and FBI are conducting an independent investigation to determine whether any federal civil rights laws were violated in George Floyd’s death.

“The video images of the incident that ended with death of Mr. Floyd, while in custody of Minneapolis police officers, were harrowing to watch and deeply disturbing,” he said in a statement.

Barr said the state’s charging decisions will be made first.

 

1:22 p.m.: Officer arrested in connection with Floyd’s death

Derek Chauvin, one of the four former officers fired for their involvement in George Floyd’s death, has been taken into custody by the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, according to Department of Public Safety Commissioner John Harrington.

Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman is scheduled to give a news conference on developments in the case at 2 p.m.

1:09 p.m.: Cops warn of anarchists infiltrating protests

ABC News obtained a police bulletin issued to the Philadelphia Police Department and the Delaware Valley Intelligence Center that warned that anarchists and other groups are calling on their supporters to commit acts of violence against police officers in light of the protests in Minneapolis.

The bulletin said there have been several social media posts calling for looting and civil disobedience as well as other acts of violence.

“Domestic extremists, including anarchist extremists and other anti-government extremists, are using the unrest in Minneapolis to amplify and justify their calls for dismantling law enforcement agencies and carrying out attacks on law enforcement, government, and capitalist targets,” the bulletin said.

The bulletin stressed that non-violent protests are legal and protected by the Constitution.

“Anarchist extremists may be attracted to this call to action and engage in direct action against law enforcement property, such as buildings and vehicles, in order to draw attention to their cause,” it said.

12:56 p.m.: Obama offers statement on George Floyd of our darkest chapters’

Former President Barack Obama issued a statement on social media about Floyd’s death and the subsequent protests in Minneapolis.

“This shouldn’t be ‘normal’ in 2020 America,” he wrote. “It can’t be ‘normal.’ If we want our children to grow up in a nation that lives up to its highest ideals, we can and must be better.”

Obama said it is up to Minnesota officials to ensure that Floyd’s death is fully investigated and justice is ultimately done, however, he encouraged people “to work together to create a ‘new normal’ in which the legacy of bigotry and unequal treatment no longer infects our institutions or our hearts.”

12:40 p.m.: Governor calls on order to be restored after ‘one of our darkest chapters’

Gov. Tim Walz called the death of George Floyd and the subsequent protests that took place have been “one of our darkest chapters.” However, he said he refused to let those who caused destruction to Minneapolis “take away the attention of the stain that we need to be working on” and pleaded with the community to help restore order.

Walz said that the “looting and recklessness” that occurred was not caused by those who wanted justice for Floyd.

“We have to restore order to our society before we can start addressing the issues,” the governor said, later calling one of the issues “fundamental institutional racism.”

He said that he would not “patronize” the black community as a white man, but asked the community to “help us use a humane way to get the streets back to a place where we can restore justice.”

Walz started off his press conference by acknowledging generations of pain and anguish that communities of color in America have experienced. He said that those communities have not been truly heard, “much like we failed to hear George Floyd as he pleaded for his life, as the world watched, by the people sworn to protect him, his community, our state.”

The commissioner for the state’s Department of Public Safety called Floyd’s death “murder.”

“That’s what it looked like to me,” Commissioner John Harrington said. His comment marked the first time a member of law enforcement call Floyd’s death murder publicly.

Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison began his remarks by quoting Martin Luther King Jr., saying “riot is the way that the unheart get heard.”

He said King urged people not to dismiss non-peaceful protests or relegate it as criminality, but ask what was really going on there.

Ellison said that protesters should not react to the National Guard in the way that may react to the Minneapolis Police Department. He noted they are two different agencies and “their job is trying to bring peace and calm back again.”

Ellison said that although people continue to ask when justice will be served, he believes authorities understand that “the wheels of justice must turn swiftly.”

He also said that while the investigation and criminal procedure for this case is important, it by no means addresses the root of these problems in this country.

“I think we’re gonna do some real change. … We’re not just gonna fix the windows and sweep up the glass. We’re gonna fix the broken, shattered society that leaves so many behind.”

11:10 a.m.: City is handling situation in ‘best way that we can,’ city council VP says

Minneapolis’ city council vice president said the government is still adjusting to the situation, but is handling it “in the best way that we can given all of the chaos, all of the unrest, all of the anger and pain in this community.”

City Council Vice President Andrea Jenkins told ABC News’ Amy Robach on Friday that the city must take control of the situation and “restore some order back.”

She also begged people not to gather in the streets, citing the pandemic and the damage that has been done in the last two nights. Jenkins said that the anger of the community has been expressed and she did not want further action to lead to injuries or loss of life.

“We can’t allow this type of civic unrest to continue,” she said.

Jenkins on Thursday called on city officials to declare racism a public health crisis.

“By declaring racism a public health emergency it provides us the opportunity to name the virus that has infected our American institutions for centuries but in addition, it gives us the opportunities to … you can’t really begin to cure a disease until you know what that disease is,” she said. “It’s an infectious disease just like the coronavirus and it’s not just Minneapolis.”

11 a.m.: Trump says National Guard is in Minneapolis

President Donald Trump tweeted that the National Guard is now in Minneapolis.

“They are in Minneapolis and fully prepared,” the president wrote. “George Floyd will not have died in vain. Respect his memory!!!”

 

 

Photos showed members of the National Guard in the streets of Minneapolis. Gov. Tim Walz signed an executive order Thursday activating the Minnesota National Guard after Wednesday night’s destructive protests.

10:50 pm.: Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee and former Vice President Joe Biden said he was “furious” over President Donald Trump’s tweet on the protests

“I will not lift the President’s tweet. I will not give him that amplification. But he is calling for violence against American citizens during a moment of pain for so many. I’m furious, and you should be too,” Biden wrote.

Trump tweeted in the early morning hours of Friday that “when the looting starts, the shooting starts,” referring to the protests. He also called protesters “thugs.”

 

 

Biden said that he will be speaking more later today about the situation in Minneapolis. He also addressed a CNN crew being arrested.

“This is not abstract: a black reporter was arrested while doing his job this morning, while the white police officer who killed George Floyd remains free. I am glad swift action was taken, but this, to me, says everything,” Biden said, with the swift action appearing to refer to their release.

10:20 a.m.: Melania Trump says there is ‘no reason for violence’

First Lady Melania Trump said the nation needs to focus on healing and “there is no reason for violence.”

“Our country allows for peaceful protests, but there is no reason for violence,” she tweeted. “I’ve seen our citizens unify & take care of one another through COVID19 & we can’t stop now.”

Trump also offered her “deepest condolences” to Floyd’s family. “As a nation, let’s focus on peace, prayers & healing,” the first lady wrote.
 

 

 

10:09 a.m.: City is handling situation in ‘best way that we can,’ city council VP says

Minneapolis’ city council vice president said the government is still adjusting to the situation, but is handling it “in the best way that we can given all of the chaos, all of the unrest, all of the anger and pain in this community.”

City Council Vice President Andrea Jenkins told ABC News’ Amy Robach on Friday that the city must take control of the situation and “restore some order back.”

She also begged people not to gather in the streets, citing the pandemic and the damage that has been done in the last two nights. Jenkins said that the anger of the community has been expressed and she did not want further action to lead to injuries or loss of life.

“We can’t allow this type of civic unrest to continue,” she said.

Jenkins on Thursday called on city officials to declare racism a public health crisis.

“By declaring racism a public health emergency it provides us the opportunity to name the virus that has infected our American institutions for centuries but in addition, it gives us the opportunities to … you can’t really begin to cure a disease until you know what that disease is. … It’s an infectious disease just like the coronavirus and it’s not just Minneapolis.”

9:45 a.m.: Floyd family attorney calls CNN arrest ‘hypocrisy’

Civil Rights Attorney Ben Crump, who is representing Floyd’s family, said he was not surprised by the “hypocrisy” of police arresting a CNN crew, but not arresting “murderers from within its own ranks.”

“These problems will require systematic change to start the healing process. It won’t be easy, but it’s essential,” Crump wrote on Twitter.

 

 

6:59 a.m.: CNN reporter, crew arrested live on air

CNN reporter Omar Jimenez and his production crew were arrested in Minneapolis live on air Friday morning while reporting on the Floyd protests.

The news outlet is reporting that police said they were arrested because they were told to move and didn’t.

“A CNN reporter & his production team were arrested this morning in Minneapolis for doing their jobs, despite identifying themselves – a clear violation of their First Amendment rights,” CNN said in a statement Friday morning. “The authorities in Minnesota, incl. the Governor, must release the 3 CNN employees immediately.”

Minnesota State Sen. Jeff Hayden phoned into CNN and said he just had a joint text with the governor and mayor and that they were just trying to get control of the area and weren’t aware of the CNN reporter getting arrested.

“Hoping that we can figure it out,” Hayden said.

6:44 a.m.: 70 arrested or summonsed in New York City during George Floyd protests

At least 70 people were arrested or summonsed during a series of protests that started in Union Square and spread through Lower Manhattan through Thursday night.

Most will be summonsed for obstruction of governmental administration and social distancing violations, but there will also be assault and weapon possession charges.

The protest began in Union Square after 3 p.m., Thursday but after that broke up, protests reemerged at Foley Square courthouses, City Hall and Zuccotti Park, the site of the 2011 Occupy Wall Street protest, and moved toward the West Side Highway.

Several police officers were taken to the hospital with minor injuries, one with a possible concussion.

One person was arrested for assaulting a police officer for throwing a garbage can into a crowd and striking a police officer in the head.

Another person attempted to grab the service weapon from a Deputy Inspector’s holster. That person will be charged with robbery.

1:15 a.m.: Trump says military could assume control in city, ‘when the looting starts, the shooting starts’

President Donald Trump weighed in on the destructive protests in Minneapolis early Friday morning, saying the military could “assume control” of the response.

“These THUGS are dishonoring the memory of George Floyd, and I won’t let that happen,” Trump tweeted early Friday morning. “Just spoke to Governor Tim Walz and told him that the Military is with him all the way. Any difficulty and we will assume control but, when the looting starts, the shooting starts.”

Trump also attacked Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey, saying the protests are a result of a lack of leadership.

“Either the very weak Radical Left Mayor, Jacob Frey, get his act together and bring the City under control, or I will send in the National Guard & get the job done right,” Trump tweeted.

Frey responded to Trump at an early-morning press conference Friday, saying it’s weakness to point fingers during times of crisis.

“Weakness is refusing to take responsibility for your actions. Weakness is pointing your finger at somebody else during a time of crisis,” Frey said. “Donald Trump knows nothing about the strength of Minneapolis. We are strong as hell. Is this a difficult time period? Yes. But you better be damn sure that we’re gonna get through this.”

12:48 a.m.: Minneapolis asks residents to ‘retreat’ over precinct explosion possibility

After people protesting George Floyd’s death forcibly took over a Minneapolis precinct and began to ignite fires, city officials are now warning residents to leave the area in case the building explodes.

“We’re hearing unconfirmed reports that gas lines to the Third Precinct have been cut and other explosive materials are in the building,” the city tweeted. “If you are near the building, for your safety, PLEASE RETREAT in the event the building explodes.”

Frey said residents must clear the area so the fire department can put out fires.

“We are working with @MinneapolisFire to deliver resources and respond for a beloved neighborhood in our city,” Frey tweeted. “We all need to work together to ensure the safety of our friends, family, and Minneapolis residents. And right now working together means clearing the area.”

The Minnesota National Guard has been activated for the area and said it’s helping the fire department safely get to fires to help them battle the blazes.

Since the protests started, the Saint Paul Police Department said more than 170 businesses have been damaged or looted. Despite the destruction, with dozens of fires set, authorities said there are no reports of serious injuries. “Calm on the horizon,” the department said late Thursday night.

12:32 a.m.: Governor ‘shocked’ after vehicle attempts to run over protester

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis said he is “absolutely shocked” by video of a car attempting to run over a person protesting the death of Floyd in Denver on Thursday. What started as a peaceful protest turned chaotic with reports of vandalism and violence.

“Tonight is a very sad night for our state. While we are still uncovering all of the facts, a protest regarding the killing of George Floyd devolved into vandalism and violence, and I was absolutely shocked by video evidence of a motorist attempting to run over a protestor,” Polis tweeted. “Coloradans are better than this. I share the immense anguish we all feel about the unjust murder of George Floyd. But let me be clear, senseless violence will never be healed by more violence.”

Previously shots were fired across the street from Colorado’s State Capitol in Denver.

11:51 p.m.: Protesters gain access to police precinct

People protesting the death of Floyd have reportedly taken over the Minneapolis Police Department’s 3rd precinct and set it on fire, according to authorities.

Minneapolis Police spokesperson John Elder said staff was evacuated from the building around 10 p.m. local time and that protesters forcibly entered the building and ignited several fires.

Shortly after reports of the precinct takeover, the Minnesota National Guard said it was deploying more than 500 soldiers to the area.

“We have activated more than 500 soldiers to St. Paul, Minneapolis and surrounding communities,” the National Guard said in a statement. “Our mission is to protect life, preserve property and the right to peacefully demonstrate. A key objective is to ensure fire departments are able to respond to calls.”

9:20 p.m.: Colorado protest marred by gunshots

Protesters outside Colorado’s State Capitol in Denver received a scare when someone apparently fired shots nearby, causing the assembled group to flee.

There were no injuries, authorities confirmed to ABC News.

“Officers on scene at W Colfax Ave and W 15 st on shots fired in the area of the Capital. This is an ongoing investigation and the motive is unknown,” Denver police wrote on Twitter.

Leslie Herod, who is a state representative, tweeted about the incident as well. She added that someone was apprehended, though police have not confirmed any arrests.

The Capitol was put on lockdown, with Herod, who fled inside included. Herod told an ABC News producer she was not scared by the incident.

“No. This only makes me more resolved. We have more work to do,” she said.

8:31 p.m.: 911 call released

The 911 call made by the store owner who accused Floyd of using fraudulent money was released by authorities Thursday evening.

According to the transcript of the call released by the state of Minnesota, the caller — a store owner — told the operator that Floyd entered the store drunk and tried to pay for something with “fake bills.” He later left the shop and sat on his car. It was there where police found him when they arrived at the scene.

“Someone comes [to] our store and give us fake bills and we realize it before he left the store, and we ran back outside, they was [sic] sitting on their car,” the caller said. “We tell them to give us their phone, put their… thing back and everything, and he was also drunk and everything and return to give us our cigarettes back and so he can, so he can go home but he doesn’t want to do that, and he’s sitting on his car cause he is awfully drunk and he’s not in control of himself.”

The operator then asked the caller for Floyd’s race and sex.

“No, he’s a black guy,” the caller replied. “Alright,” the operator said, letting out a sigh according to the transcript, before the caller asked, “How is your day going?”

6:25 p.m.: Investigation is ‘top priority’ for DOJ

The Department of Justice has made the investigation into Floyd’s death a “top priority,” Erica MacDonald, attorney for state of Minnesota, said at a press conference.

MacDonald said President Donald Trump and Attorney General Bill Barr are “directly and actively” monitoring the case.

“It is critical, it is essential, it is imperative that the investigation is done right and done right the first time,” she said. “And that is what we are going to do.”

No federal or state charges against the officers were announced at the press conference.

Hennepin County Attorney Michael Freeman asked for “patience.”

“Give us the time to do this right and we will bring you justice — I promise,” Freeman said.

He said his office has been flooded with calls on the status of the investigation. The main question, he said, has been, “what’re you gonna do about the murder of George Floyd?”

“We are going to investigate as thoroughly as justice demands,” Freeman said.

He called the officer’s action “excessive and wrong,” but said he needs to determine if it was criminal.

Both MacDonald and Freeman called on the public to come forward with any information they may have.

There was a delay in starting the press conference, which MacDonald apologized for and said she was hoping to share a development but that it was not the right time.

5:35 p.m.: City releases complaint history of 4 officers

The police officer seen in a video with his knee on Floyd’s neck was involved in 18 complaints prior to being fired, according to records released by the city.

Derek Chauvin, who was fired following Floyd’s death, was only disciplined for two of those complaints, according to the city records.

The documents do not provide the details of the complaints or the disciplines.

Tou Thao, who was the officer seen standing up in the video, had six complaints, one of which remains open, according to the records. Thao, who was also fired, was not disciplined for the other five complaints.

The other two officers who were fired, Thomas Lane and J Alexander Kueng, have had no complaints.

5:15 p.m.: Governor signs executive order activating National Guard

Gov. Tim Walz signed an executive order activating the Minnesota National Guard following Wednesday night’s protests.

Walz said the purpose of the National Guard was “to protect people, to protect people safely demonstrating, and to protect small business owners.”

“The anger and grief of this moment is unbearable. People deserve to be seen. People deserve to be heard. People deserve to be safe,” he said in a statement. “While many Minnesotans are taking extensive safety precautions while exercising their right to protest, the demonstration last night became incredibly unsafe for all involved.”

The National Guard Adjutant General will work with local government agencies to provide personnel, equipment, and facilities needed to respond to and recover from the protests, according to Walz’s office.

There will also be about 200 members of the Minnesota State Patrol that will work with state, county, and local community and public safety partners. State Patrol helicopters and fixed wind aircraft on the ground will assist law enforcement officers, the governor’s office said.

5:03 p.m.: Families of Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery issue joint statement

The families of Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery — all of whom died after incidents with current and former law enforcement — are demanding change and calling for government action to address this “national crisis.”

“We’re devastated about the senseless violence that has broken the hearts of our families,” the families said in a joint statement. “While we are grateful for the outpouring of love and support, it’s important that now – more than ever – we use our voices to enact change, demand accountability within our justice system and keep the legacies of Breonna, Ahmaud and George alive. This is a national crisis and our government needs to take immediate and widespread action to protect our black and brown communities.”

The families have called for a congressional hearing and a national task force to create new bipartisan legislation that is aimed at ending racial violence and increasing police accountability.

They will also present a case to United Nation Human Rights Committee for sweeping changes to the nation’s criminal justice system. A date for when they would be presenting their case was not provided.

Taylor, a black woman, was a front-line worker who died after a police-involved shooting. Taylor and her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, were sleeping inside their Springfield Drive apartment on March 13 when officers with the Louisville Metro Police Department attempted to execute a “no-knock” search warrant.

Three plainclothes officers opened Taylor’s front door and “blindly” opened fire into their apartment, according to a wrongful death lawsuit filed in April by Taylor’s mother, Tamika Palmer. Taylor was shot at least eight times and died.

Arbery, a black man, was out for a jog when two white men saw him and set off to confront him, police said. The men, Travis McMichael and his father Gregory McMichael, a former police officer, were armed.

A video shows Arbery and Travis McMichael tussling with the shotgun before three shots are fired. Arbery stumbled and fell to the ground, where he was pronounced dead.

City leaders react to protests

The mayor, police chief and city council vice president in Minneapolis emotionally addressed the violent protests that took place Wednesday night over the death of George Floyd, a black man who was seen pinned down in a video by a white police officer and later died.

Mayor Jacob Frey, who at one point became choked up and tearful, said that the protests were “the result of so much built up anger and sadness.”

“Anger and sadness that has been engrained in our black community, not just because of five minutes of horror, but 400 years,” Frey said at a press conference. “If you’re feeling that sadness and anger, it’s not only understandable, it’s right.”

Police Chief Medaria Arradondo said he knew that there was a “deficit of hope” in the community and that his department has contributed to that deficit.

He also said that the violence and destruction seen in Wednesday night’s protest was mostly caused by a “core group of people” who were not from Minnesota. He said that most of the community members who have been protesting since Floyd’s death Monday have been peaceful.

Arradondo said he wanted to ensure that people could safely protest, but he said he could not allow for criminal acts.

Wednesday night’s protest caused destruction and chaos in Minneapolis, including a deadly shooting, looting and multiple fires.

The protests, which had been largely peaceful up until Wednesday night, were in wake of Floyd’s death after he was apprehended by Minneapolis police Monday. Disturbing video emerged on social media showing a police officer with his knee on the man’s neck as the man repeatedly yells out, “I can’t breathe.”

“I can’t breathe, please, the knee in my neck,” the man said in a video showing a police officer pinning him to the ground. “I can’t move … my neck … I’m through, I’m through.”

City Council Vice President Andrea Jenkins sang “Amazing Grace” at Thursday’s press conference before addressing the protests.

Jenkins said she wanted to offer “amazing grace” and her condolences to the Floyd family.

“We feel as if there was a knee on all of our collective necks, a knee that says black lives do not matter,” Jenkins, who is black, said. “I am part of this system to help to take that knee off of our necks.”

Jenkins, Frey and Arradondo said they would be working with the community leaders. A “healing space” will be created at the 3rd Precinct in Minneapolis for residents to express their concerns and anger in a safe and humane way, Jenkins said.

Overnight developments

Police said during the protests they responded to a call of a stabbing victim and found a man in grave condition near the protests. The man later died in the hospital and authorities learned he died from a gunshot wound, according to John Elder, the director of communication for Minneapolis police.

One person was in custody after the shooting, police said. It was not immediately clear what led to the shooting, but the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported that the owner of a pawn shop opened fire on a man he believed was burglarizing his business and fatally shot him.

Police said multiple businesses were looted during the protests and the city’s fire department said there were 30 intentional fires during the protests, including at least 16 structure fires.

Massive flames were seen in the sky on videos that circulated throughout social media. As of Thursday afternoon, the fire department said crews were still extinguishing fires along East Lake Street.

People were also throwing rocks at fire department vehicles responding to the scene, according to the fire department, which noted there were no firefighter injuries. Elder had said people were throwing rocks at firefighters.

Civil Rights Attorney Ben Crump, who is representing Floyd’s family, wrote on Twitter the family thanked the protesters and wanted peace in Minneapolis, but “knows that Black people want peace in their souls — and until we get #JusticeForFloyd there will be no peace.”

“We cannot sink to the level of our oppressors and endanger each other as we respond to the necessary urge to raise our voices in unison and in outrage,” Crump wrote Thursday morning. “Looting and violence distract from strength of our collective voice.”

The city requested assistance from the National Guard late Wednesday during the protests, according to ABC Saint Paul affiliate KSTP.

The National Guard did not immediately respond to ABC News’ request for comment.

“Tonight was a different night of protesting. Last night we had 8,000 protestors all peaceful. Tonight we did not have that,” Elder said.

Elder said that there were no serious injuries to officers. He was not sure about the number of people arrested.

The fire department said there were no civilian injuries from the fires.

Gov. Tim Walz urged people to leave the area as the situation escalated.

“The situation near Lake Street and Hiawatha in Minneapolis has evolved into an extremely dangerous situation. For everyone’s safety, please leave the area and allow firefighters and paramedics to get to the scene,” Walz wrote on Twitter.

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey also asked people to evacuate the area.

“Please, Minneapolis, we cannot let tragedy beget more tragedy,” Frey wrote on Twitter.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation is probing Floyd’s death. On Thursday, it was announced that the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Minnesota, the Department of Justice Civil Rights Division and the FBI’s Minneapolis Field Office were conducting a “robust” criminal investigation into his death.

“The federal investigation will determine whether the actions by the involved former Minneapolis Police Department officers violated federal law. It is a violation of federal law for an individual acting under color of law to willfully deprive another person of any right protected by the Constitution or laws of the United States,” according to a joint statement from United States Attorney Erica MacDonald And FBI Special Agent In Charge Rainer Drolshagen.

The officers involved in the incident were identified by police as Officer Derek Chauvin, Officer Thomas Lane, Officer Tou Thao and Officer J Alexander Kueng.

All four officers were fired, according to Frey.

“This is the right call,” the mayor said.

The Minneapolis Police Department said Monday that officers were initially called to the scene “on a report of a forgery in progress” in a statement on their website.

The statement added that officers were advised that the suspect “appeared to be under the influence” and that he “physically resisted officers.”

He later “appeared to be suffering medical distress” and officers called an ambulance. He was transported to the Hennepin County Medical Center by ambulance, “where he died a short time later.”

The police department said there were no weapons of any type used by anyone involved in the incident and no officers were injured.

ABC News’ Catherine, Thorbecke and Will Gretsky contributed to this report.

 

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