Floyd Protests Overwhelm Authorities 05/30 09:09
Fires burned unchecked and thousands protesting the police killing of George
Floyd ignored a curfew as unrest overwhelmed authorities for another night in
Minneapolis, and the governor acknowledged Saturday that he didn't have enough
manpower to contain the chaos.
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- Fires burned unchecked and thousands protesting the
police killing of George Floyd ignored a curfew as unrest overwhelmed
authorities for another night in Minneapolis, and the governor acknowledged
Saturday that he didn't have enough manpower to contain the chaos.
The new round of tumult which has also spread to other cities came
despite Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz vowing Friday to show a more forceful response
than city leaders had the day before. But by early Saturday morning, Walz said
he didn't have enough troops, even with some 500 National Guardsmen.
"We do not have the numbers," Walz said. "We cannot arrest people when we
are trying to hold ground."
Walz said he was moving quickly to mobilize more than 1,000 more Guard
members, for a total of 1,700, and was considering the potential offer of
federal military police. But he warned that even that might not be enough,
saying he expected another difficult night Saturday.
The Pentagon on Saturday ordered the Army to put military police units on
alert to head to the city on short notice at President Donald Trump's request,
according to three people with direct knowledge of the orders who did not want
their names used because they were not authorized to discuss the preparations.
The rare step came as the violence spread to other cities: A man shot dead in
Detroit, police cars battered in Atlanta and skirmishes with police in New York
Criminal charges filed Friday morning against the white officer who held his
knee for nearly nine minutes on the neck of Floyd, a black man who was
handcuffed at the time, did nothing to stem the anger. Derek Chauvin, 44, was
charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.
Minneapolis police said shots had been fired at law enforcement officers
during the protests but no one was injured.
As the night dragged on, fires erupted across the city's south side,
including at a Japanese restaurant, a Wells Fargo bank and an Office Depot.
Many burned for hours, with firefighters again delayed in reaching them because
areas weren't secure.
Shortly before midnight, scores of officers on foot and in vehicles moved in
to curb the violence, one day after city and state leaders faced blowback for
their handling of the crisis. On Thursday, protesters had torched a police
station soon after it was abandoned by police and went on to burn or vandalize
dozens of businesses.
The Minnesota Police and Peace Officers Association urged Gov. Walz to
accept any help.
"You need more resources," the group said in a tweet. "Law enforcement needs
Not all the protests were violent. Downtown, thousands of demonstrators
encircled a barricaded police station after the 8 p.m. Friday curfew.
"Prosecute the police!" some chanted, and "Say his name: George Floyd!" Some
protesters sprayed graffiti on buildings.
Anger filled the streets of Minneapolis.
Ben Hubert, a 26-year-old local resident, said he wasn't surprised people
were breaking curfew and setting fires.
"I'm outraged," he said of the Floyd case. "But I'm also sad. The injustice
has been going on for so long. It's been swelling for years."
Chauvin was also accused of ignoring another officer who expressed concerns
about Floyd as he pleaded that he could not breathe, while Chauvin pressed his
knee into his neck for several minutes. Floyd had been arrested on suspicion of
using a counterfeit $20 bill at a store.
Chauvin, who was fired along with three other officers who were at the
scene, faces more than 12 years in prison if convicted of murder.
An attorney for Floyd's family welcomed the arrest but said he expected a
more serious murder charge and wants the other officers arrested, too.
Prosecutor Mike Freeman said more charges were possible, but authorities
"felt it appropriate to focus on the most dangerous perpetrator."
Protests nationwide have been fueled by outrage over Floyd's death and years
of police violence against African Americans. Protesters smashed windows at CNN
headquarters in Atlanta, set a police car on fire and struck officers with
bottles. Large demonstrations in New York, Houston, Washington, D.C., and
dozens of other cities ranged from people peacefully blocking roads to repeated
clashes with police.
"You are disgracing our city," Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms told
protesters. "You are disgracing the life of George Floyd and every other person
who has been killed in this country."
Police were trying to put Floyd in a squad car Monday when he stiffened and
fell to the ground, saying he was claustrophobic, a criminal complaint said.
Chauvin and Officer Tou Thoa arrived and tried several times to get the
struggling Floyd into the car.
Chauvin eventually pulled Floyd out of the car, and the handcuffed Floyd
went to the ground face down. Officer J.K. Kueng held Floyd's back and Officer
Thomas Lane held his legs while Chauvin put his knee on Floyd's head and neck
area, the complaint said.
When Lane asked if Floyd should be rolled onto his side, Chauvin said, "No,
staying put is where we got him." Lane said he was "worried about excited
delirium or whatever."
An autopsy said the combined effects of being restrained, potential
intoxicants in Floyd's system and his underlying health issues, including heart
disease, likely contributed to his death. It revealed nothing to support
strangulation as the cause of death.
There were no other details about intoxicants, and toxicology results can
take weeks. In the 911 call that drew police, the caller describes the man
suspected of paying with counterfeit money as "awfully drunk and he's not in
control of himself."
After Floyd apparently stopped breathing, Lane again said he wanted to roll
Floyd onto his side. Kueng checked for a pulse and said he could not find one,
according to the complaint.
Chauvin's attorney had no comment when reached by The Associated Press.
The prosecutor highlighted the "extraordinary speed" in charging the case
four days after Floyd's death and defended himself against questions about why
it did not happen sooner. Freeman said his office needed time to gather
evidence, including what he called the "horrible" video recorded by a bystander.
Trump said Friday that he'd spoken to Floyd's family and "expressed my
He called video of the arrest "just a horrible thing to witness and to
watch. It certainly looked like there was no excuse for it."
Attorney Benjamin Crump, who is representing Floyd's family, asked to take
custody of Floyd's body for an independent autopsy.
The doctor who will do the autopsy is Michael Baden, former chief medical
examiner of New York City. He was hired to do an autopsy for Eric Garner, a
black man who died in 2014 after New York police placed him in a chokehold and
he pleaded that he could not breathe.
State and federal authorities also are investigating Floyd's death.