Minneapolis calm morning after man's suicide sparked unrest

People stole merchandise from a Target store and set a popular British pub on fire. Other businesses were damaged, including some outside of downtown.

Posted: Aug 26, 2020 11:36 PM
Updated: Aug 27, 2020 10:37 AM

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — An emergency curfew expired and downtown Minneapolis was calm Thursday morning after unrest broke out following what authorities said was misinformation about the suicide of a Black homicide suspect.

Gov. Tim Walz mobilized the Minnesota National Guard at the request of Mayor Jacob Frey, who imposed the curfew after people broke windows and stole merchandise Wednesday night from stores on and near the Nicollet Mall, a pedestrian plaza that runs the length of downtown. People broke into a Target store and stole merchandise and set a popular British pub on fire. Other businesses were damaged, including some outside of downtown.

Emotions have remained raw over the death of George Floyd, a handcuffed Black man who died after a white Minneapolis police officer pressed his knee against Floyd’s neck for nearly eight minutes on May 25. Floyd’s death sparked protests worldwide, including several nights of violence in Minneapolis. Demonstrators also gathered in Minneapolis this week to protest after Jacob Blake, a Black man, was shot multiple times by police in Wisconsin on Sunday, leaving him paralyzed.

"We once again see the unrest on our streets. And not just Minnesota but as a nation, this pain continues on," Walz said at a late night news conference.

TV footage and reporter's tweets Wednesday night showed people grabbing merchandise at a Saks OFF 5TH store, and broken windows and shrimp scattered on the sidewalk outside Ruth’s Chris Steak House. One officer was hospitalized with a non-life threatening injury, police spokesman John Elder said.

At least 33 people were arrested as authorities moved in to restore order, the State Patrol said Thursday morning.

The Minneapolis Fire Department said it responded to four fires late Wednesday and early Thursday, including one at Brits Pub on the Nicollet Mall, plus three businesses in south Minneapolis, a Tires Plus, a Walgreens and a China Wok restaurant. The department said there were no injuries from the fires. South Minneapolis, where a police station was burned in May, was the epicenter of the unrest over Floyd's death.

The State Patrol mobilized about 150 troopers, the governor said. He did not give a figure for how many National Guard soldiers were deployed.

“This is part of a larger narrative. It was the flash point of George Floyd, it has spread across this nation. It does us no good to try and either divide or ignore or to make it worse or to blame someone. We’re just, as a state and as a nation, going to have to come together and figure out what our next steps are," Walz said.

Police Chief Medaria Arradondo tried to dispel rumors that spread on social media about the death of the unidentified Black man, who was suspected in a Wednesday afternoon homicide and fatally shot himself on the Nicollet Mall as officers approached several hours later. His death, which was captured on city surveillance video and released by police within 90 minutes, nonetheless sparked protests and unrest in the heart of downtown.

The video confirmed the police account of what happened and showed the man glancing over his shoulder before pulling out the gun and firing, then collapsing to the ground as a half-dozen witnesses ran away with their hands in the air. The officers, one of whom had his gun drawn, shooed a remaining witness away and kicked the suspect’s gun away before performing chest compressions.

Police tweeted that they removed the video from their social media accounts Thursday after getting feedback from the community, due to its graphic nature, and out of respect to the man, his family and the community.

City Council Member Jeremiah Ellison, a leader of the effort to overhaul the police force following Floyd's death, tweeted a call for understanding about why the violence broke out even though police didn't kill the man.

“MPD did not kill him, but people assuming they did is rooted in a steep distrust," he wrote. "That distrust is our failure to own. Seeing windows broken and items stolen can be beyond frustrating, especially when all that rage was sparked (this time) by misinformation. But so often our policing institutions have themselves been the source of misinformation. We forfeited our goodwill and this is the ugly cost.”

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 142311

Reported Deaths: 2472
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Hennepin35484995
Ramsey14726372
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Anoka9344155
Washington636273
Stearns625550
Scott360436
Olmsted340230
St. Louis325874
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Blue Earth21147
Carver18887
Sherburne183122
Kandiyohi18215
Rice170210
Mower154518
Winona133619
Chisago11562
Crow Wing114322
Benton103311
Lyon10306
Beltrami9618
Otter Tail9508
Waseca94510
Todd8967
Polk8364
Morrison8259
Steele8013
Itasca78817
Douglas7744
Nicollet77118
Freeborn7185
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Goodhue65111
Martin62618
Becker6214
McLeod6214
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Pine5770
Carlton5092
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Hubbard4344
Cass4225
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Meeker3593
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Houston2381
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Aitkin1982
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Pope1680
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Lac qui Parle1453
Wilkin1454
Clearwater1381
Norman1340
Lake1330
Mahnomen1292
Grant1054
Red Lake822
Traverse590
Kittson530
Lake of the Woods441
Cook190

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

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Confirmed Cases: 122218

Reported Deaths: 1691
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Polk19732289
Woodbury743799
Linn6038133
Johnson602431
Black Hawk5974102
Dubuque550658
Scott487343
Story411118
Dallas357347
Pottawattamie337845
Sioux254417
Buena Vista230212
Marshall212236
Webster196015
Plymouth172831
Wapello158962
Clinton156228
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Des Moines151611
Cerro Gordo150227
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Warren13137
Carroll120413
Jasper119734
Henry11245
Marion106811
Lee101312
Tama100538
Delaware82713
Dickinson7939
Wright7591
Boone7509
Mahaska73824
Bremer7199
Harrison69716
Washington69311
Jackson6853
Benton6482
Lyon5688
Clay5574
Louisa54415
Winnebago52119
Cedar5087
Winneshiek5079
Hardin5017
Jones5004
Kossuth4970
Clayton4923
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Hamilton4825
Poweshiek47611
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Emmet45321
Iowa4429
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Mills4233
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Butler4083
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Franklin39518
Madison3743
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Humboldt3593
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Grundy3406
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