Marching, chants, and signs at protests during the day on Wednesday erupted into fires, looting and death by nightfall as demonstrators took over the streets of South Minneapolis to decry the death of George Floyd.
Floyd died while in police custody on Memorial Day after MPD police officer Derek Chauvin kept his knee on Floyd’s neck while he lay pinned on the ground for more than seven minutes. Chauvin and three other officers involved have since been fired.
The destruction occurred up and down Lake Street near the 3rd Precinct police station and the surrounding areas as people robbed and vandalized Target, Cub Foods, Aldi’s, and small corner stores, while Wendy’s restaurant and other stores were burned to the ground. Looters also targeted Uptown stores hitting an Apple store among others. It was reported that one looter died after being shot and killed by a store owner.
There has been speculation on social media that some of the initial destruction was started by outside agitators and people from out of the area.
Protests continued throughout the day, as did looting in St. Paul and surrounding suburbs. By the afternoon, Gov. Tim Walz had signed an executive order to deploy the National Guard to maintain peace and safety.
Some call what happened Wednesday night an uprising, others call it a riot. Whatever you call it, it will likely continue until the now-former police officers are charged with the death of George Floyd.
Above, see photos from the night by Steve Floyd.