Minn. gov. issues 'full mobilization' of National Guard, says violent rioters are 'attacking civil society'
Over $520K raised for black business owner whose sports bar was torched by looters
Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz said Saturday that the National Guard would be fully mobilized after another night of violent protests erupted in Minneapolis and St. Paul.
"The situation in Minneapolis is no longer in any way about the murder of George Floyd. It is about attacking civil society, instilling fear and disrupting our great cites," Walz said in a morning news conference.
Walz said that domestic terrorism, ideological extremists and international destabilization efforts "are present in all of this."
“The terrifying thing is that this resembles more a military operation now as you observe ringleaders moving from place to place,” he said.
"Over the last 72 hours these people have brought more destruction and more terror to Minnesota than anybody in our history. That’s who we’re up against.”
Despite an 8 p.m. curfew in the Twin Cities and surrounding areas Friday night, violent riots continued into Saturday morning. Department of Public Safety Commissioner Harrington said rioters even used IEDs against law enforcement.
Harrington said that by noon Saturday, 2,500 soldiers and airmen would be out in force.
The Minnesota National Guard said this marks the first time it's been fully mobilized since World War II, after Walz said this was the first full mobilization in the state's 164-year history of the Guard.
Walz said about 80% of the rioters, who "have no regard for life for property," are from out-of-state.
St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter III concurred, adding that “every single person” who was taken into custody in his city Friday and Saturday morning was from out of state.
But according to news station KARE 11, 86% of the people arrested gave a Minnesota address as their residence.
"The data, taken from the Hennepin County Jail’s roster, shows that nearly all of the people arrested in likely connection to the riots live in Minneapolis or the metro area. The five cases from outside Minnesota were of people listed as living in Missouri, Florida, Arkansas, Michigan and Illinois."
Walz warned violent protesters that on Saturday night authorities "will use the full strength of goodness and righteousness to make sure that this (rioting) ends.”
On Friday, the governor said that although many people had protested peacefully earlier in the week, he and Mayors Jacob Frey and Carter decided to impose a mandatory curfew during the weekend because "the unlawful and dangerous actions of others, under the cover of darkness, have caused irreversible pain and damage to our community."
Before the governor's remarks, an unidentified woman in her 30s was found dead in the back seat of a car with "trauma visible" on her body. Minneapolis police are investigating the death.
Protests have also spread to several other cities, including Memphis, Los Angeles, Louisville, Atlanta, Houston, Detroit, New York City, and Washington, D.C., among others.
While some demonstrators have remained peaceful, others have resorted to violence. In Detroit, an unknown suspect shot and killed a 21-year-old after shots were fired into a crowd of protesters Friday.
A Federal Protective Service officer was killed Friday night in a shooting at a Federal office building in Oakland, California.
In New York City, some 200 people were arrested in lower Manhattan and Brooklyn last night and the early morning after an estimated 3,000 demonstrators stormed the Barclays Center and a police van was torched near the 88th Precinct station.
In Atlanta, rioters broke windows and set fires at CNN’s headquarters Friday. Violence also broke out at the Treasury Department in Washington and Lafayette Square near the White House.
The Secret Service said in a statement that "six arrests were made," and multiple agents were assaulted with "bricks, rocks, bottles, fireworks and other items" — injuring several agents.
Floyd, 46, died Monday after Minneapolis officer Derek Michael Chauvin knelt on his neck for several minutes after he was handcuffed and on the ground.
Chauvin was charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter on Friday. The three other officers involved were fired, but not yet charged with crimes.
Floyd's family said the charges do not go far enough and they want to see Chauvin charged with first-degree murder.
Police had arrested Floyd on Monday on suspicion of passing a counterfeit $20 bill and were trying to put him in a squad car when he stiffened up and fell to the ground, saying he was claustrophobic, according to the complaint.
Preliminary findings from an autopsy conducted by the Hennepin County Medical Examiner suggests that Floyd died from a combination of preexisting health conditions exacerbated by being held down by officers, and not from strangulation or asphyxiation.
There were “no physical findings that support a diagnosis of traumatic asphyxiation or strangulation,” the criminal complaint filed Friday against the former officer states.
“Mr. Floyd had underlying health conditions including coronary artery disease and hypertensive heart disease,” the complaint reads. “The combined effects of Mr. Floyd being restrained by police, his underlying health conditions and any potential intoxicants in his system likely contributed to his death.”
An attorney for Floyd's family said Friday they had retained former New York City chief medical examiner Dr. Michael Baden to perform an independent autopsy on Saturday. Baden told Fox News that he would release his findings next week.
Businesses torched and looted in Minneapolis-St. Paul
An exasperated Walz said in Saturday's news conference that businesses that took generations to build were "torn down and burned by people with no regard for what went into" the infrastructure that has served the community they've destroyed. Incidents of looting and violence have escalated since Wednesday night, he added.
More than 170 businesses have been damaged or looted, and dozens of arson incidents have been reported, according to The Mercury News.
A black business owner in Minneapolis, who was preparing for the grand opening of his first business, a new sports bar, saw his dream shattered after the building his business was in was burned and looted.
KB Balla, a father of four and firefighter on the Brooklyn Center Fire Department who had invested his life savings into the business, was seen weeping in a video on Twitter after his Scores Sports Bar was looted, vandalized and destroyed on Wednesday.
The video has more than 3.2 million views.
On Friday, a fundraiser was launched on GoFundMe, and by early Saturday, people had donated over $520,000.
A six-story, 190-unit affordable housing project, which was to open in the spring of 2021 in Minneapolis, was also burned to the ground by rioters, according to Twin Cities Business.
The land and construction costs of the affordable housing project were estimated to be about $30 million, according to a city of Minneapolis worksheet on the project, which also shows that the project was being almost entirely privately financed.