Videos hit social media showing escalating protests in Minneapolis, Minnesota, over the death of George Floyd, including a Target store being looted and an Autozone on fire.
The protests grew after a viral citizen video emerged showing a Minneapolis Police Officer, Derek Chauvin, putting his knee on the neck of Floyd during an arrest for minutes, even after Floyd went silent and bystanders pleaded with the officers to check on Floyd’s welfare. Floyd was pronounced dead a short time later.
Dramatic videos surfaced from inside the Target.
A woman named Jennifer caused a stir on social media after this video circulated of her outside the Target:
Videos showed people carrying items out of the store.
What started out as vigils quickly turned more chaotic in the streets. People were throwing Molotov cocktails, and police were using tear gas, according to live CNN reports. Flash bangs could be heard during the live broadcast. The scenes were starting to resemble the protests of a few years ago in Ferguson, Missouri and other U.S. cities after controversial police-related deaths.
According to Minneapolis Star-Tribune reporter Libor Jany, police say a pawn shop owner shot and killed a suspected looter. Police confirmed a man was shot and another in custody but said the latter was just one theory under investigation.
KTSP reported that looters left the Target store “with televisions, rugs and other items.”
There was also looting reported at a “tobacco store, a Dollar Tree and a liquor store. Additionally, Cub Foods and an AutoZone is being looted as well,” the television station reported.
See a livestream news report from Minneapolis here:
The Minneapolis police chief quickly fired Officer Derek Chauvin and three other officers at the scene, but that action hasn’t quelled the growing unrest. Police use of force experts have criticized the restraint used against Floyd.
Thomas Lane, Tou Thao, and J. Alexander Kueng were the other three officers present, according to the city.
Floyd’s sister, Vanita Williams-Dabney, wrote on Facebook, “My bro was killed by Minneapolis police on Memorial Day . . . R I.P. bro we will get Justice for u . . . gone2soon . . .loveU4life.”
Here’s what you need to know:
Video & Photos Showed an Autozone on Fire
People tweeted about the Autozone.
The Minneapolis mayor tweeted that “four responding MPD officers involved in the death of George Floyd have been terminated. This is the right call.” Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo called the four officers “former employees” in a news conference.
Floyd was originally from Houston, Texas. He was known by the nickname “Big Floyd,” his Facebook page says. The Star-Tribune reported that the initial call came in for someone using a counterfeit bill at a store, Cup Foods, at 3759 Chicago Avenue. When police arrived, they believed Floyd matched the description and found him sitting on the hood of his car, according to the newspaper.
The FBI has joined in the investigation.
A Target Was Looted, Along With Other Businesses
Videos showed a Target and other stores being looted.
The viral video that started it all was a 10-minute video that was posted to Facebook by a bystander. It paints an extremely troubling scene of what happened to Floyd.
“Please, I can’t breathe. Please man. Please,” Floyd says, his voice anguished.
The officer, now identified as Chauvin, has his knee on the man’s neck against a squad car, as Floyd continues saying he can’t breathe. There is a second officer standing nearby at the scene and a third next to Chauvin, and bystanders grow increasingly distressed in the video at what they are watching.
“Why you got him down, man. Let him breathe at least, man,” says one bystander to the officers.
Floyd repeats again, several times, “I can’t breathe.” He added, “I can’t move. … My stomach hurts. My neck hurts. Everything hurts. Please, please.”
“His nose is bleeding, c’mon now,” says a passerby. “You’ve got your knee on his neck,” says another bystander.
“How long you’ll gotta hold him down?” says a woman. “You can put him in a car,” says a man.
“That’s bullsh*t bro. … you’re f*cking stopping his breathing,” says a bystander.
People challenged the officer to just put the man in a car. The bystanders call the officer a “bum” and claim he’s stopping Floyd’s breathing.
Partway through the video, Floyd stops talking, but the officer keeps his knee on Floyd’s neck, the video shows.
“He’s not responsive right now,” challenges a bystander.
“Check his pulse,” demands a man.
The second officer, named as Tou Thao, sometimes interacts with the passerby. “Check his pulse. The man ain’t move yet, bro,” demands a bystander.
“He’s not f*cking moving. Get off of his f*cking neck,” the man yells. “Are you serious? Are you serious?”
“He’s black. They don’t care,” says a woman.
Paramedics eventually show up with a gurney after Floyd has gone silent for some time.
“The fact you guys aren’t checking his pulse and doing compression if he needs help?” says an upset woman.
“You just really killed that man, bro,” says a man to Chauvin, who appears unemotional and impassive throughout the video.
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