MINNEAPOLIS, MN (KARE-TV) — Tensions continue to mount on night three of sustained demonstrations across the Twin Cities metro following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
While most of the protests have been peaceful, both honoring the late Floyd and the social justice movement, some factions have left vandalism, fires, and looting in their wake.
People rioting have breached the Minneapolis Police Department's Third Precinct and set the building on fire as of reports coming in around 10:30 p.m. Thursday.
Minneapolis Police Spokesperson John Elder said in a statement that they had evacuated staff from the building due to safety concerns shortly after 10 p.m.
According to Elder, "Protesters forcibly entered the building and have ignited several fires."
KARE 11 reporter Danny Spewak described the facility surrounded by flames on Twitter.
Earlier in the day, people gathered at the intersection of 38th and Chicago in downtown Minneapolis at the scene of Floyd's death. In one location, Minneapolis artists worked to paint a mural of Floyd.
In Minneapolis, a powerful moment occurred. An entire crowd just went silent, took a knee and raised a fist in remembrance of George Floyd.
Elsewhere, shopkeepers and business owners were forced to clean up in the wake of vandalism and fires that were reported throughout the Twin Cities.
In one of the many examples, Gus from Augie’s in downtown Minneapolis off Hennepin Avenue told KARE 11 protesters shattered a door to the BuzzMart despite their pleas. Luckily he says they, and some of the crowd, deterred anyone from entering.
Business owners along Lake Street in south Minneapolis spent Thursday cleaning up debris and boarding up windows after a night of protests, fires, looting and damage.
Some business owners in south Minneapolis spent the previous night trying to protect their businesses from looters. Thursday night as more destruction spread, some businesses placed signs in their windows letting people know they were a minority-owned business.
In the wake of mounting tension, Governor Tim Walz announced Thursday he had signed an executive order to activate the Minnesota National Guard at the request of local leadership.
Executive Order 20-65 authorizes the guard to work with local government agencies to provide "personnel, equipment, and facilities" to help respond to the present emergency, according to a news release put out by the governor's office.
The press release also states nearly 200 Minnesota State Patrol troopers, along with State Patrol helicopters and fixed wind aircraft, will be at the disposal of state, county, and local community public safety agencies.
Governor Walz announced that he will hold a press conference at 10 a.m. on Friday to address the state's response to ongoing violence and riots in Minneapolis and St. Paul.