MINNEAPOLIS – About 24 hours after George Floyd’s death, hundreds packed the streets of Minneapolis, many gathering at the intersection where Floyd was pinned to the ground by police officers shortly before he died.
Floyd was arrested Monday evening after officers responded to a call about an alleged forgery in progress. Video from bystanders shows Floyd handcuffed and pinned to the ground and one police officer’s knee pressing against his neck. Floyd pleaded he was in pain and couldn’t breathe. Shortly after, he died at a nearby hospital.
Four police officers involved in the incident were fired Tuesday, Minneapolis police said, but protesters said they still had a message to send to law enforcement.
“We’re here to let them know this can’t be tolerated, there will be severe consequences if they continue to kill us. This will not go on another day,” a protester told CNN affiliate WCCO.
When the crowd of protesters turned unruly, police sprayed tear gas to disperse the crowd, among other measures. Protesters retaliated.
RAW VIDEO: Protesters inside Minneapolis Police's 3rd Precinct parking lot smashing squad cars, before officers show up and fire flash grenades inside to get them to disperse. WARNING: This video contains violence and strong language. READ MORE: https://t.co/HZTamsXTCN pic.twitter.com/Cktz07ftSg— WCCO - CBS Minnesota (@WCCO) May 27, 2020
A team of CNN journalists said, some demonstrators wheeled a shopping cart full of rocks just outside the precinct and dumped it on the ground for people to throw.
At least one police cruiser’s back window was shattered when someone threw something at it. Another had been spray painted.
The protest would eventually lead from the intersection where Floyd died to outside Minneapolis Police Department’s 3rd Precinct, where the now former police officers who were involved in the arrest, worked.
Protesters began chanting chanting “No justice, no peace,” and “I can’t breathe,” some of the last words George Floyd uttered. Elsewhere protesters blocked traffic. Some using their vehicles as a barricade object.
A spokesperson with Minneapolis Police Department said in at least one location, foam marking rounds were fired to disperse the crowd. No rubber bullets were used, according to the spokesperson.
As the crowds grew, the American Civil Liberties Union of Minnesota did not encourage protesters to remain peaceful but reminded them to keep their distance to help stop the spread of COVID-19.
If you’re joining the protest tonight against the police killing of George Floyd, remember this is a historically Black and brown neighborhood with high vulnerability to COVID-19.— ACLU of Minnesota (@ACLUMN) May 26, 2020
Please wear a mask.
Please maintain a distance of 6 feet.
Please stay home if you’re sick.