(A looter with Target Merchandise, and a mannequin, on Wednesday night in Minneapolis, MN. A protest was held outside the 3rd Precinct Wednesday night, two days after George Floyd died in the custody of Minneapolis Police. Photo by Aaron Lavinsky/Star Tribune via Getty Images.)
Protests over the death of George Floyd continued Wednesday night and turned volatile as protesters began to throw bottles and rocks at law enforcement, while officers responded with rubber bullets, flash bombs and tear gas to push them back. Minnesota Governor Tim Walz has now referred to the events as an "extremely dangerous situation."
There were also reports of looting from an East Lake Street Target location (more on that further down) and an AutoZone outlet was set on fire between 9:30-10:00 pm local time. There is also local news footage showing a Dollar Store being looted after one of the front windows had been broken.
The protesting stems from the recent killing of 46-year-old George Floyd by a police officer who knelt on his neck while attempting to arrest him. The police officer is white, Floyd was black, and he soon died after being taken into police custody as a result.
The event that was caught on video went viral, and has sparked national outrage at the continued disproportional response by police to apprehend people of color that often ends up killing people who have been taken into custody. The four officers involved in Floyd’s killing on Monday have been fired, but there are many still calling for their arrest, including the family of the victim and the attorney who represents them.
Things got really weird at Target
While I was researching what really happened and the events that transpired in Minneapolis last night, it was hard to overlook the scene at Target and just how strange it was…even for a looting.
There was a lady in the wheelchair who was attempting to stop the looters. (See video below.) Brace yourselves because this gets really odd. Several vigilante groups armed themselves all over the city to protect various stores, but one lady decided to get in a wheelchair and position herself outside of the loading door dock at Target to stop anyone who was trying to leave with merchandise. She also had a knife in her hand and began trying to stab people and someone released a fire extinguisher in retaliation. You have to see it to believe it:
The woman eventually escapes, is deemed to be physically fine by medics and proceeds to make this video where she recounts her story as if she had gone off to war. She also says she was “peacefully protesting” which we can tell from the video above, she was not.
Hold on it gets worse — more video surfaces later on showing the woman jumping up from her chair to defend herself, proving that she could walk the whole time.
Unbelievable. I know it’s a tad salacious, but if you are on Twitter, trust me — I just saved you two hours of trying to find out why “she has a knife” and “she’s only 30” are trending. Many are trying to make this a race issue and while there are obviously many factors involved, this appears to be people on all sides behaving illegally.
Frankly, I’m surprised something like this hasn’t happened sooner with the pandemic stress everyone is under. It’s also important to remember that the peaceful protests in response to the death of George Floyd are important and that not everyone conducted themselves like criminals last night.
Bottom line: another black man was killed by police officers who tried to use the argument of legal force to defend themselves and we need to start charging the people responsible for their actions so that we can make sure this stops happening.
Stay safe out there, it’s getting rough.
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The city requested support from the National Guard late Wednesday night to combat the ongoing riots.