Protests surrounding the brutal police-involved killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis descended into chaos on Wednesday afternoon, extending into Thursday
According to the New York Times, police fired tear gas and rubber bullets into the crowd, as some individuals set buildings on fire and looted stores.
According to police, one man died following a shooting in the protest area. The shooting appeared to stem from the looting of a pawnshop where the store owner fired shots.
“Tonight was a different night of protesting than it was just the night before,” John Elder, a police spokesman, said, according to the Times.
The unfolding violence prompted Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey to urge residents to stay at home.
“Please, Minneapolis,” he said, “we cannot let tragedy beget more tragedy…. Please, help us keep the peace. Stay safe and evacuate the area.”
The protests started to ripple with unrest on Wednesday evening, as protesters gathered outside police headquarters, demanding accountability for the officers involved in Floyd’s death.
Officers tried to disperse the crowds using tear gas and other methods. Eventually, buildings were seen ablaze, and social media also showed footage of a Target being looted.
Floyd’s death has prompted widespread national outrage and an investigation from the FBI. Even Donald Trump has made a statement on Twitter, calling for swift justice.
The four officers involved have since been identified as Derek Chauvin, Thomas Lane, Tou Thao and J. Alexander Kuen. Frey has called for criminal charges against the officer who was seen with his knee on Floyd’s neck, even as the 46-year-old pleaded that he couldn’t breathe.
“I’ve wrestled with, more than anything else over the last 36 hours, one fundamental question: Why is the man who killed George Floyd not in jail?” Frey said. “If you had done it, or I had done it, we would be behind bars right now. And I cannot come up with a good answer to that.”