Riots Break Out

May 29, 2020

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Overnight on 27-28 May 2020, riots broke out in the northern U.S. city of Minneapolis, Minnesota, amid a second consecutive day of protests over the 25 May death of an African American man in police custody. Rioters set fire to buildings and looted dozens of businesses across the city, most of them located in the area of Minnehaha Avenue and E. Lake Street. Additional stores in the city’s North and South sides were also looted or torched. At least one person was killed and four others suffered gunshot wounds during the riots. The violence followed clashes between police officers and protesters outside the third precinct police station — where police officers fired tear gas, stun grenades and other non-lethal projectiles to disperse the protesters. There were no reports of injuries or arrests during clashes outside the police station.

The significant escalation of violence overnight on 27-28 May prompted state officials to deploy approximately 50-60 Minnesota state troopers to assist the Minneapolis police. The mayor of Minneapolis has requested the support of National Guard personnel to help police officers prevent further violence. Meanwhile, the mayor has also called on prosecutors to file homicide charges against the Caucasian police officer who detained the African American man on 25 May; the detainee subsequently died, and all four police officers involved in the arrest were fired from their jobs the following day. The protests are likely to intensify in Minneapolis and have begun spreading to other U.S. cities. Racial issues remain incendiary in the country and police involvement in the deaths of members of the African American community has triggered prolonged violent protests in U.S. cities in the past.

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