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Protest marches resume as several Minnesota metro communities impose curfews

People will not be allowed to travel on any public streets or in public places in response to Thursday night's riots.
Protesters gather in front of a burning fast food restaurant Friday, May 29, 2020, in Minneapolis. Protests over the death of George Floyd, a black man who died in police custody Monday, broke out in Minneapolis. (AP/John Minchillo)

8 p.m.

Curfew orders took effect at 8 p.m. in Minneapolis, St. Paul and several other metro area communities, as protests and memorials for George Floyd continued into a fourth night.

Tensions were high again near the Minneapolis Police Department's Third Precinct where a large crowd had gathered, one night after the precinct building was set on fire.

KARE 11 photojournalist Ben Garvin shared video from the scene showing a visible cloud of smoke in the area once again, and reported that people had once again reached the building, with no visible officer presence nearby.

7 p.m.

Hundreds have gathered peacefully near the scene of George Floyd's death at the intersection of 38th and Chicago in Minneapolis.

One person in attendance described the gathering's location to KARE 11 as a “healing space.”

The Minneapolis NAACP also posted to Twitter encouraging community members to spread the word about the upcoming curfews.

"We are organizing car rides starting ... to offer rides home to young protestors and to let them know that the curfew is in place," the NAACP tweeted.

6 p.m.

A protest march moved onto I-35W in Minneapolis, with hundreds of people on the freeway at one point, stopping traffic and forcing drivers to detour onto other routes.

MnDOT says I-35W was closed to traffic briefly at Stinson Boulevard. Marchers were later seen exiting the freeway at Washington Avenue.

5:55 p.m.

The Minnesota National Guard announced in a series of tweets that it would "continue supporting several missions" on Friday night, including security along Lake Street in Minneapolis, as well as providing security for the Minneapolis Fire Department and around the State Capitol.

"As citizens in Minneapolis and St Paul observe a temporary curfew this evening, the (National Guard) will be out helping to restore order and provide safety in the community. Rest assured, we are standing watch," the National Guard tweeted.

5:15 p.m.

A large crowd of people joined a march through the streets of Minneapolis on Friday evening.

Many were chanting George Floyd's name and "no justice, no peace" as the group crossed over the Hennepin Avenue Bridge.

4:50 p.m.

The St. Paul Fire Department said it responded to 295 calls for service over the past 24 hours as riots ensued throughout the Twin Cities.

In a press release, SPFD said 169 were EMS calls, and 126 were fire calls, with 55 actual working fires.

According to a tweet from the department, a majority of fires were in commercial buildings and responding officials "endured rocks and bottles being thrown at them." St. Paul fire added that the St. Paul Police Department provided them safety.

The thread continued, "We are grateful for the support of our public safety partners and the mutual aid support we have received. The department is coordinating with multiple agencies to insure the safety of all our residents and visitors."

The department said nearly 200 firefighters were deployed Thursday night, in addition to help for neighboring communities.

4:15 p.m.

On Friday afternoon, Governor Tim Walz, Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey, and St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter issued city-wide curfews on Friday and Saturday nights in both Minneapolis and St. Paul.

The curfew begins at 8 p.m. and extends to 6 a.m. on both nights. People will not be allowed to travel on any public streets or in public places in response to Thursday night's riots.

The state's order exempts people going to work, or returning home from work, as well as first responders, people seeking emergency care, people fleeing danger, the homeless, and journalists.

The state order also allows mayors from other cities across the state to issue their own curfews.

“It’s time to rebuild our community and that starts with safety in our streets,” Gov. 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.”

Later in the evening, the city of Roseville, city of Bloomington, Anoka County and Dakota County also issued similar curfews for their communities.

3 p.m.

Peaceful protesters and mourners gathered outside Cup Foods near 38th Street and Chicago Avenue Friday morning and into the afternoon as emotions remained high following the death of George Floyd while in Minneapolis police custody.

The setting is where a memorial has been set for Floyd and the location where bystander video showed a Minneapolis police officer's knee on Floyd's neck while Floyd was pleading "I can't breathe."

On Friday afternoon, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman announced charges against former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, who was identified in the criminal complaint as the officer with his knee on Floyd's neck.

Freeman said Chauvin has been charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter, but they're continuing to survey the evidence and that additional charges could still come.

"This is by far the fastest we've ever charged a police officer," Freeman said.

For some, the charges announced provide some sense of appeasement that justice is being served following Floyd's death.

"I think it's great that he's been charged," said one person outside of Cup Foods in Minneapolis. "It's finally come to a realization to the people that finally justice has been served for the most craziest reasons, and what happened to George Floyd should never have happened."

Governor Tim Walz held a news conference at 10:30 a.m. Friday after another night of violence and looting in Minneapolis and St. Paul, as protests over the death of George Floyd devolved into riots.

Walz said he received a call from State Sen. Patricia Torres Ray Thursday that District 63 was burning, and there were no police officers or Minnesota National Guard troops to help.

“That is an abject failure that cannot happen," Walz said. "We must restore that order.”

Thursday night, fires continued to rage across both Minneapolis and St. Paul. Minneapolis Police were forced to evacuate the building housing the Third Precinct after a fire started around 10:30 p.m. Thursday night.

Minnesota Department of Public Safety Commissioner John Mark Harrington said during a press conference that national guard troops were called in to help, but they did not receive a “specific mission” to help clear the streets until midnight, on a call with the mayor. Harrington said Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey informed them they had "no more resources" and they were not able to meet public safety needs on Lake Street.

"When the Third Precinct was abandoned, it seemed that that was the time to move," Gov. Walz said.

They then had to get a plan together, Harrington said. By the time they brought state patrol, Minnesota National Guard, and other assisting crews to Lake Street, he said it was 3 a.m. Harrington said some people were arrested at the time and for other looting incidents throughout the day, but he didn't have exact numbers. He said most people left peacefully.

Harrington said the people who were out at that hour were not the people of Minneapolis “who are still having their guts ripped out about the Floyd murder.”

“I don’t want to prejudice this,” he said regarding using the term “murder.” “I’m just calling it like I see it.”

“I can tell you that no one could have heard Mr. Floyd’s voice in the chaos of the screaming and the shouting and the fires at 1 o’clock in the morning on Lake Street,” he said. “My job is to make sure the community is safe and the team is ready and prepared to keep it safe.”

Harrington said his team, including the national guard, state troopers and DNR, is confident that they can make a plan to keep people safe Friday night while protecting First Amendment rights to protest.

“We will create a plan that will keep the peace, maintain the peace, and prevent further lawless behavior in the city of Minneapolis, the city of St. Paul and surrounding suburbs,” he said.

The governor acknowledged that the "tools" needed to restore order, including the Minnesota National Guard, are "the very same tools that have led to that grief and pain."

Those national guard troops are armed, officials confirmed Friday, and maintain the right to defend themselves, though they would not comment further on the boundaries around their use of force.

"I’m asking you to help us. Help us use a humane way to get the streets to a place where we can restore the justice," he said. "So those who are demanding justice can be heard. Not those who throw fire bombs into businesses."

Early Friday morning, Frey held a press conference to address the burning of the Third Precinct Police Station in south Minneapolis. He reiterated his concern for the citizens of his city, saying rioting posed an imminent threat to the safety of the officers and staffers within MPD's Third Precinct, forcing him to make the decision to evacuate the compound.

“Symbolism of a building cannot outweigh the importance of life or the public,” Frey said. “We could not risk serious injury to anyone … brick and mortar is not as important as life.”

A CNN news crew was arrested on live TV Friday morning while reporting on the continued unrest in Minneapolis. Officers in riot gear were seen pushing the reporter and his two crews members, as the reporter told them they would move. As one officer held the reporters arm, another informed him he was under arrest. The network reports that Gov. Tim Walz intervened, and quoted him as saying the arrests were "totally unacceptable," and that he wanted the media to cover the developing situation here.

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