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28 May, 2020 15:32

Minneapolis mayor calls on National Guard to tackle riots over police killing of black man

Minneapolis mayor calls on National Guard to tackle riots over police killing of black man

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey is seeking help from the National Guard to control a wave of violent riots across the state, following the police killing of unarmed black civilian George Floyd.

Following widespread looting, a shooting, and police using tear gas on Wednesday night, Frey has asked for the state’s National Guard to be deployed.

The mayor said he has spoken with the governor’s office “several times” about the riots, and has also requested the help of state police.

“I cannot risk the safety of innocent people and so that is what I've been sworn to uphold and that is what I am dedicated to do,” Frey told a local NBC affiliate. “We can have both things. We can have peaceful demonstrations, but I also have to ensure the safety of everyone in the city.”

Governor Tim Waltz tweeted on Wednesday night that protests had created an “extremely dangerous situation,” and advised citizens to avoid certain areas in the state.

Videos from the city show scenes of chaos, with rioters looting and burning entire buildings to the ground.

There have also been reports of a homicide as police are investigating an alleged looter being shot by a pawn shop owner.

Also on rt.com Minneapolis police investigate ‘homicide’ amid reports of ‘looter shot dead by pawn shop owner’

Businesses including Target and AutoZone were reportedly looted, and Minneapolis police have been supported by nearby St. Paul officers.

The protests, which the mayor says began “peacefully,” started following the death of local black man Floyd in a case of suspected police brutality. Video of the incident shows an officer with a knee on Floyd’s neck, suffocating him as he struggles to breathe. Floyd was unarmed. 

The mayor has called for the officer to be charged, saying if he had been a man of color, he’d “already be behind bars.”

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