Peaceful protests escalated to violence on day 2 of civil unrest in response to George Floyd’s death in south Minneapolis, Minnesota on Wednesday evening.
Riots rocked south Minneapolis, as hundreds of protesters threw rocks and bottles at police wearing riot gear.
Rioters smashed every window inside Minneapolis Police’s 3rd precinct. Heavily armed police stood guard in front of the one window left intact.
Protesters set fire to stores, including an AutoZone. Police fired rubber bullets, tear gas and stun grenades to disperse crowds. Dozens of injuries were reported. But protests remained peaceful at Cup Foods, where Floyd was killed in police custody on Monday.
The unrest spread to Los Angeles, where over 1,000 Black Lives Matter protesters blocked an L.A. freeway and destroyed at least one cop car.
Downtown LA — 101 freeway pic.twitter.com/9t849F3USF
— Breaking911 (@Breaking911) May 28, 2020
Videos posted by citizen journalists and reporters showed scenes of unrest and looting in Minneapolis.
A Target store was hard hit by looters who walked out with TVs, clothing, appliances, toys and household goods, while cops were busy with rioters in other parts of the city.
Target is getting cleaned out pic.twitter.com/0OGSHY132k
— Karen Scullin FOX9 (@kscullinfox9) May 27, 2020
RAW VIDEO: Dozens of people loot the Target store near Minneapolis Police's 3rd Precinct building in the midst of the #GeorgeFloyd protest. (WARNING: Contains strong language). The other protest at the scene of Floyd's death remains peaceful. Read More: https://t.co/W5GdKvLI7g pic.twitter.com/9Pjt6oWLzI
— WCCO – CBS Minnesota (@WCCO) May 28, 2020
Video showing inside a @Target in #Minneapolis as looters tear through the store. Riots are taking place in response to the killing of #GeorgeFloyd. Looting and stealing in the name of such a terrific event doesn't make it ok. Your just a thief who wants to steal. pic.twitter.com/bbBAlgZgd3
— Disclosure Tv (@DisclosureTv_) May 28, 2020
Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, a Democrat who represents Minnesota, tweeted:
“Shooting rubber bullets and tear gas at unarmed protesters when there are children present should never be tolerated. Ever. What is happening tonight in our city is shameful. Police need to exercise restraint, and our community needs space to heal.”
Shooting rubber bullets and tear gas at unarmed protesters when there are children present should never be tolerated. Ever.
What is happening tonight in our city is shameful.
Police need to exercise restraint, and our community needs space to heal. https://t.co/vwAIV7t5WJ
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) May 27, 2020
President Trump tweeted about George Floyd, promising “Justice will be served!”
Former Vice President Joe Biden commented on Floyd, comparing his murder to the case of Eric Garner, who died when a cop used an illegal chokehold on him during an arrest for selling loose cigarettes in New York in 2014.
“George Floyd’s life mattered. It mattered as much as mine, it matters as much as anyone’s in this country.” Biden said.
“Watching his life be taken in the same manner, echoing nearly the same words as Eric Garner more than five years ago — ‘I can’t breathe’ — is a tragic reminder that this was not an isolated incident, but part of an ingrained systemic cycle that exists in this country.”
Biden added: “It cuts at the very heart of our sacred belief that all Americans are equal in rights and in dignity.”