icon bookmark-bicon bookmarkicon cameraicon checkicon chevron downicon chevron lefticon chevron righticon chevron upicon closeicon v-compressicon downloadicon editicon v-expandicon fbicon fileicon filtericon flag ruicon full chevron downicon full chevron lefticon full chevron righticon full chevron upicon gpicon insicon mailicon moveicon-musicicon mutedicon nomutedicon okicon v-pauseicon v-playicon searchicon shareicon sign inicon sign upicon stepbackicon stepforicon swipe downicon tagicon tagsicon tgicon trashicon twicon vkicon yticon wticon fm

Fire consumes historic church in Minneapolis amid protests as the city braces for verdict in Chauvin trial (VIDEO)

Fire consumes historic church in Minneapolis amid protests as the city braces for verdict in Chauvin trial (VIDEO)
A century-old church in northeast Minneapolis has caught fire and partially collapsed as protests erupt ahead of a jury verdict in Derek Chauvin’s murder trial.

Firefighters responded to a call at the two-story Sacred Heart of Jesus church on Monday evening, where the Minneapolis Fire Department said the majority of the roof had collapsed by around 9pm local time.

Footage of the conflagration has circulated online and in local media, showing sizable flames and a column of smoke billowing from the church’s roof as firefighters worked to put it out from ladders above the building.

It’s unclear what triggered the fire, which broke out across town from the courthouse where Chauvin's trial was held.

The church is located on the 2200 block of Fifth Street Northeast, which is about a 12-minute drive or a one-hour walk from the Hennepin County Courthouse. There is so far no indication that the blaze was linked to the demonstrations downtown. A journalist with a local ABC affiliate, Ryan Raiche, cited a church chairman who suggested the fire might have stemmed from the furnace inside the building.

Protesters gathered for a rally outside the courthouse on Monday evening, holding a brief march before disbanding. Demonstrators were seen carrying signs and shouting anti-police slogans while demanding a guilty verdict for Chauvin, who is accused of murdering suspect George Floyd in custody last May after kneeling on his neck for more than nine minutes. After three weeks of witness testimony, jurors began mulling a verdict earlier on Monday.

Following weeks of heated protests and rioting in Minneapolis and elsewhere in the US over Floyd’s death last year, city authorities have taken strict security precautions amid Chauvin’s trial, including heavier law enforcement presence, National Guard deployments and curfew orders. Other recent police shootings, such as a fatal encounter with 20-year-old Daunte Wright earlier this month in nearby Brooklyn Center, have only raised tensions, prompting other cities to go on high alert for potential unrest as well.

Also on rt.com Critics, including CNN, attack Chauvin defense for ‘reasonable police officer’ argument

Think your friends would be interested? Share this story!

Dear readers and commenters,

We have implemented a new engine for our comment section. We hope the transition goes smoothly for all of you. Unfortunately, the comments made before the change have been lost due to a technical problem. We are working on restoring them, and hoping to see you fill up the comment section with new ones. You should still be able to log in to comment using your social-media profiles, but if you signed up under an RT profile before, you are invited to create a new profile with the new commenting system.

Sorry for the inconvenience, and looking forward to your future comments,

RT Team.

Podcasts