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As riots continue, Gov. Tim Walz says state of Minnesota is 'hurting beyond words'

Protests over the death of George Floyd, a black man who died in police custody Monday, broke out in Minneapolis for a third straight night. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

Speaking sternly about protests and riots following the death of George Floyd, who died earlier this week while in police custody, Walz said the ashes in Minneapolis and St. Paul are "symbolic of pain and anguish."

Posted: May 29, 2020 10:55 AM
Updated: May 29, 2020 12:19 PM

ST. PAUL, Minn. - Minnesota is “hurting beyond words” and Gov. Tim Walz said Friday that he wants swift justice to be carried out.

Speaking sternly about protests and riots following the death of George Floyd, who died earlier this week while in police custody, Walz had this message about Minneapolis and St. Paul.

Attorneys seek outside probe of Floyd's death

(AP) - Attorneys for the families of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor are calling for an independent investigation of the actions leading to Floyd’s death.

They also want national reforms in response to the three deaths.

Attorney Ben Crump said during a news conference Friday that he's asked to take custody of Floyd’s body for an independent autopsy. He and attorney Lee Merritt said they want murder charges brought against the four Minneapolis police officers involved in Floyd's arrest. And they want the Minnesota attorney general to take over the investigation.

Crump says the families from Georgia, Kentucky and now Minnesota have all had to dispel narratives from law enforcement that their loved ones “brought this upon themselves.” They cited an initial report in Floyd’s case that said he threatened police and died of a medical condition.

Videos show an officer kneeling on the back of Floyd’s neck as the handcuffed black man pleads for air.

The attorneys said they'll seek national legislation seeking better training and to lower the burden to charge officers for excessive force.

“Minneapolis and St. Paul are on fire. The ashes are symbolic of pain and anguish.”

The Twin Cities have had three nights of protests with buildings, including a police precinct and a library, being set ablaze.

Dozens of businesses have been destroyed in recent nights, and the violence has spread to cities beyond Minnesota.

There have still been no arrests in the death of Floyd. Four police officers were fired after the incident, which was caught on video.

“Thank God a person had a camera to video it,” Walz said.

During a passionate speech to the state of Minnesota and the country, Walz touched on a number of issues, including protesting in a safe manner. 

“I refuse to have it take away the attention of what we need to be working on,” he said. “These are things that have been brewing in this country for 400 years.”

Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison said the focus now needs to lie on police using deadly force.

While no charges have been filed, Ellison said he wants the state to fix the “broken, shattered society.”

“I believe that the message has been sent and received and that the wheels of justice must turn swiftly,” Ellison said.

State Representative Tina Liebling (DFL – Rochester) also issued the the following statement regarding the death of George Floyd and the subsequent events in the Twin Cities:

“I am heartsick over the events of the last few days."

“The public torture and death of a black man at the hands of the police comes after generation upon generation of similar crimes, most of which have gone unpunished. Without justice, there is no peace. I call upon Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman and other authorities to move swiftly to charge and punish the officers responsible for the brutal death of George Floyd."

“At the same time, I call on everyone to express their anger in ways that respect the lives and property of their neighbors. My heart goes out to the Minnesotans whose communities have been devastated by the violence. There are families—including many families of color—who now have nowhere to buy groceries, whose jobs are gone, whose small businesses are burned."

“We need fundamental change in this country to overcome the legacy of slavery and create justice for all. I will continue working with my colleagues in the legislature—especially our legislators of color—to create that change.”

The Minnesota National Guard has been deployed in Minneapolis and aided in the efforts to prevent riots in the area of the police department's third precinct, which was set on fire. 

Walz also issued a public apology to CNN, which had a reporter arrested while covering the protests Friday morning.

“I take full responsibility,” Walz said. “This is a public apology to that team.”

 The reporter was released a short time after being taken into custody.

 

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 129863

Reported Deaths: 2367
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hennepin33310981
Ramsey13782357
Dakota9541137
Anoka8414150
Stearns566541
Washington546970
Scott329334
Olmsted318330
St. Louis285065
Wright236714
Nobles221916
Clay221443
Blue Earth20207
Carver17437
Kandiyohi16505
Sherburne163421
Rice16059
Mower150315
Winona123618
Crow Wing98021
Lyon9516
Chisago9502
Waseca9229
Benton9107
Beltrami8717
Otter Tail8187
Todd7695
Steele7413
Nicollet71417
Itasca70617
Morrison6948
Freeborn6594
Douglas6473
Le Sueur6145
Martin60616
Polk5964
McLeod5804
Watonwan5764
Goodhue55811
Becker5383
Pine5230
Isanti5195
Chippewa4243
Carlton4111
Mille Lacs38714
Dodge3860
Hubbard3692
Wabasha3590
Cass3575
Pipestone34217
Meeker3223
Brown3163
Rock3154
Yellow Medicine2755
Cottonwood2720
Murray2723
Redwood26911
Fillmore2500
Renville24311
Sibley2433
Roseau2280
Faribault2210
Wadena2153
Unassigned21153
Jackson2071
Houston1951
Kanabec19510
Swift1941
Stevens1771
Lincoln1760
Pennington1741
Aitkin1652
Koochiching1654
Pope1540
Big Stone1320
Lac qui Parle1313
Wilkin1294
Lake1150
Norman1080
Mahnomen1062
Marshall1031
Clearwater1010
Grant924
Red Lake692
Traverse540
Lake of the Woods441
Kittson380
Cook120

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 112754

Reported Deaths: 1615
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Polk18617286
Woodbury704194
Johnson576330
Black Hawk544098
Linn5342129
Dubuque501657
Scott433738
Story394418
Dallas339744
Pottawattamie314844
Sioux236416
Buena Vista224112
Marshall198336
Webster180715
Plymouth161927
Wapello150562
Clinton143026
Muscatine140758
Crawford134414
Des Moines133610
Cerro Gordo131425
Warren12037
Carroll109912
Jasper107034
Henry10325
Marion96310
Lee93110
Tama92737
Delaware74212
Dickinson7217
Wright7101
Boone7039
Mahaska67024
Bremer6559
Harrison63711
Washington63411
Jackson5763
Benton5532
Lyon5337
Clay5144
Louisa51215
Winnebago46619
Hamilton4624
Hardin4606
Winneshiek4609
Kossuth4510
Poweshiek44711
Cedar4375
Buchanan4314
Jones4284
Floyd42511
Emmet42017
Clayton3933
Iowa3918
Cherokee3882
Page3860
Sac3854
Guthrie38015
Franklin37818
Cass3712
Mills3711
Shelby3621
Fayette3604
Butler3592
Madison3533
Allamakee3518
Chickasaw3411
Clarke3393
Humboldt3163
Palo Alto3082
Hancock3064
Grundy2925
Calhoun2904
Osceola2660
Howard2629
Monroe25811
Mitchell2430
Monona2361
Jefferson2311
Taylor2312
Union2234
Appanoose2203
Pocahontas2192
Lucas1986
Fremont1941
Ida1872
Greene1830
Van Buren1672
Davis1654
Montgomery1647
Keokuk1561
Adair1521
Decatur1480
Audubon1411
Worth1370
Wayne1163
Ringgold882
Adams740
Unassigned80
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