Fires raged through the night in Minneapolis after a group of demonstrators swarmed a police station, which officers had been ordered to abandon as protests intensified in a city rocked by the death of a black man in police custody. Demonstrators breached a door and entered the Minneapolis Police Department’s Third Precinct station as fires spread, resulting in destruction and further upheaval.

President Trump called the protesters “THUGS,” while suggesting military intervention and warning in a tweet that there could be additional violence if the chaos continued. “When the looting starts, the shooting starts,” the president wrote. Trump’s tweet was later flagged by Twitter for “glorifying violence.”

The scene in Minneapolis came at the end of a day in which hundreds of peaceful protesters demanded that four now-fired officers be arrested in a case that has generated nationwide outrage. Video captured a white police officer pressing his knee into George Floyd’s neck in a banned maneuver as Floyd repeatedly said, “I can’t breathe.” Floyd later died.

Here are some significant developments:

  • A CNN crew was arrested early Friday while reporting on the protests in Minnesota. CNN said in a statement that the three journalists were arrested “for doing their jobs, despite identifying themselves.” Correspondent Omar Jimenez was released from custody and back on the air little more than an hour later, though it was unclear if his colleagues were still detained.
  • The unrest spread from Phoenix to Columbus, as people converged in city centers and descended on state capitol buildings. Gunfire broke out in multiple cities, including Louisville, where authorities say seven people were injured during a protest of the fatal police shooting of Breonna Taylor. Shots were also fired at the Colorado statehouse.
  • Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey (D) said he ordered police to vacate the Third Precinct before it was overrun by protesters. “The symbolism of a building cannot outweigh the importance of life, of our officers or to the public,” Frey said early Friday, noting that he made the call after learning there “were imminent threats."
  • Frey hit back at Trump, who had called him a “weak Radical Left Mayor” on Twitter. “Donald Trump knows nothing about the strength of Minneapolis. We are strong as hell,” Frey said early Friday.
  • Protesters in Minneapolis have noted that the riots that have raged through the city are a natural response to Floyd’s death. “There are folks reacting to a violent system,” said activist Michael McDowell. “You can replace property, you can replace businesses, you can replace material things, but you can’t replace a life.
  • The House Judiciary Committee called on the Justice Department to investigate whether the death of Floyd was part of a “pattern or practice of unconstitutional conduct” by the Minneapolis Police Department.
May 29, 2020 at 7:52 AM EDT

CNN reporter, crew arrested live on air

CNN correspondent Omar Jimenez and his camera crew were arrested on air early Friday as they reported on the protests.

A Minnesota State Police officer said the journalists were arrested because they were told to move and didn’t, according to CNN. Jimenez is seen and heard on camera before his arrest identifying himself and his crew as reporters and saying, “We’re getting out of your way” and “put us back where you want us. Just let us know.”

After Jimenez was zip-tied by his wrists and led away, an off-camera crew member said: “We were just out here reporting the closing of the streets. Omar was just arrested. I believe we’re all about to be arrested.”

The arrest, which happened during CNN’s “New Day,” shocked hosts Alysin Camerota and John Berman.

“I’ve never seen anything like this,” Berman said.

Police continue to arrest crew members until the cameraman was left. It’s unclear whether police were aware that CNN’s camera continued to roll as they carried it away.

CNN political reporter Abby Phillip noted that her other colleague on the scene, who is white, was not arrested.

“He just reported that police approached him, asked him who he was with, he said CNN,” Phillip said via Twitter. “And they say “ok, you’re good.” This is minutes after Omar, who is black and Latino, was arrested nearby.”

CNN said in a statement on Twitter that the arrest was a First Amendment violation and demanded the reporters’ release.

“A CNN reporter & his production team were arrested this morning in Minneapolis for doing their jobs, despite identifying themselves — a clear violation of their First Amendment rights,” the company said. “The authorities in Minnesota, [including] the Governor, must release the 3 CNN employees immediately.”

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz (D) soon apologized for the incident, calling it “totally unacceptable,” according to CNN. Jimenez was released little more than an hour later, though it was unclear if his colleagues were still detained.

By Kim Bellware
May 29, 2020 at 7:07 AM EDT

Twitter flags Trump for ‘glorifying violence’ after he says Minneapolis looting will lead to ‘shooting’

As protests over the death of George Floyd intensified in Minneapolis on Thursday night, President Trump slammed the demonstrators as “THUGS” on Twitter, threatening military intervention if the situation worsens and suggesting more looting would lead to “shooting.”

“These THUGS are dishonoring the memory of George Floyd, and I won’t let that happen,” Trump tweeted shortly before 1 a.m. Friday, adding, “Any difficulty and we will assume control but, when the looting starts, the shooting starts."

Critics condemned Trump’s tweet, asserting that he was promoting violent retaliation against protesters, and Twitter took swift action, flagging the post for violating rules about glorifying violence. The move is likely to exacerbate the fight between Trump and Twitter this week first sparked by the platform’s decision to place fact-checking labels on two of his erroneous tweets. On Thursday, after days of raging against social media companies, Trump signed an executive order that could punish them for how they police content.

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Washington Post early Friday.

Read more here.

By Allyson Chiu and Timothy Bella
May 29, 2020 at 6:40 AM EDT

Biden says country won’t heal without addressing ‘underlying injury’

Former vice president Joe Biden said Thursday night that the country must address the “older and deeper” problem of police brutality against minorities to heal from the “open wound” caused by George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis.

“People all across this country are enraged and rightly so,” Biden said at the outset of a virtual fundraiser. “Every day, African Americans go about their lives with constant anxiety and trauma of wondering, ‘Will I be next?’ Sounds like an exaggeration, but it’s not.”

Biden, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, said Floyd’s death in his encounter with police “ripped open anew this … ugly underbelly of our society.” He said the officers involved must be held accountable.

“You know, if we’re not committed as a nation, with every ounce of purpose in our beings, not just to binding up this wound in hope that somehow the scab once again will cover things over, but to treat the underlying injury, we’re never going to eventually heal,” he said.

Biden’s remarks came at the outset of a fundraising concert that included musicians David Crosby, Sheryl Crow, Rufus Wainwright, Joe Walsh and Jimmy Buffett. It was hosted by Whoopi Goldberg and Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.).

By John Wagner
May 29, 2020 at 6:03 AM EDT

‘A once-in-a-lifetime opportunity’: Young protesters seize the chance to be heard in Minneapolis

MINNEAPOLIS — A predominantly young group of protesters descended on the city’s Third Precinct, which had been evacuated by authorities on Thursday night, setting fire to the structure as numerous looters searched smoke-filled hallways for souvenirs.

C’Monie Scott, 22, held up a gun belt complete with dangling handcuffs in one hand, and screamed into a megaphone, “F--- the police!” Scott said none of it would be happening if the city had quickly moved to prosecute the officers involved in the death of George Floyd.

“My people are only doing this because there is no justice,” Scott said. “Before this happened, we have never gone this far. This is on you guys. We’re three days in, sleep-deprived, dehydrated, hungry, and he still hasn’t been charged.”

As Scott spoke at 1:30 a.m., the second of four stolen postal vans sped through the intersection of East Lake Street and Minnehana Avenue. With one van having already been flipped over and set on fire, another vehicle, hot-wired and piloted by a 19-year-old community college student, would soon crash into the flaming wreckage.

The driver, who asked to be identified as Muhammad, said he was a student at Century College in White Bear Lake and had been studying to become a police officer until this week, when the weight of Floyd’s death and his friends’ disapproval of his career choice swung his ambition.

“I initially did it because it was a childhood dream, but there’s a lot better things I could do,” he said. “This irritated me so much. It’s clear cut. What more evidence could you possibly need?”

Self-appointed field medics used supplies from Target to treat the injured, including Muhammad, who lacerated his finger in the van heist and had a piece of glass wedged in the sole of his foot.

“It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” he said. “Cause mayhem. Be heard.”

By Robert Klemko
May 29, 2020 at 3:53 AM EDT

‘We’re actually taking action, showing our anger’: Protester justifies setting fire to police station

Forest McClarron has heard the cries for peace and the claims that the escalating protests in Minneapolis will only engender more violence. But the 32-year-old in a red bandanna and black face mask doesn’t buy it.

Standing in front of the fires burning outside the Minneapolis Police Department’s 3rd Precinct station, which protesters stormed after police fled on Thursday night, he said peaceful protests no longer cut it.

“It’s always been peaceful before,” the Minneapolis resident said. “This is the first time I feel like we’re actually taking action, showing our anger.”

Protesters stormed the station, he said, to send an unequivocal message: The police weren’t welcome in their neighborhood.

“We can’t have them back here. We gotta show them we mean business. It’s as simple as that,” he said. “They’re corrupt, the Minneapolis Police Department.”

McClarron rejected any claims that property destruction and clashes with police devalues the demands for justice for George Floyd, who died after a Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck for minutes.

“I’d describe it as unity, it’s beautiful,” he said of the scene at the burning police station. “People are saying that it’s dividing us, but I feel like it’s bringing us together.”

By Tim Elfrink and Jared Goyette
May 29, 2020 at 3:03 AM EDT

‘Donald Trump knows nothing about the strength of Minneapolis’: Mayor swipes back at president’s tweets

Appearing emotional at an early-morning briefing with reporters, Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey (D) hit back at President Trump, who called Frey a “weak Radical Left Mayor” on Twitter and threatened to deploy military force if he didn’t “bring the City under Control” as a third straight night of protests rocked the area.

“Weakness is refusing to take responsibility for your own actions. Weakness is pointing your own finger at someone else during a time of crisis,” Frey said at a Friday morning news conference. “Donald Trump knows nothing about the strength of Minneapolis. We are strong as hell.”

The mayor added: “Is this a difficult time period? Yes, but you better be damn sure we’re going to get through this.”

Frey said it was his decision on Thursday night to order police to leave the 3rd Precinct station, which was later overrun by those protesting the death of George Floyd, who died after a Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck for minutes. The protesters later set fires outside the police building and broke inside.

Frey said he made the call after learning there “were imminent threats to both officers and the public."

“The symbolism of a building cannot outweigh the importance of life, of our officers or to the public. We could not risk serious injury to anyone, and we will continue to patrol the 3rd Precinct entirely,” he said. “Brick and mortar is not as important as life.”

Frey condemned looters who have struck dozens of businesses around Minneapolis. “What we have seen in the last several hours and past couple of nights in terms of looting is unacceptable. Our communities cannot and will not tolerate it,” he said.

By Tim Elfrink and Timothy Bella
May 29, 2020 at 2:09 AM EDT

‘These THUGS are dishonoring the memory of George Floyd’: Trump lashes out at Minneapolis protesters

President Trump slammed the protesters in Minneapolis who breached a police precinct in response to the death of George Floyd, calling the demonstrators “THUGS,” suggesting military intervention and warning that there would be additional violence if looting continued.

“I can’t stand back & watch this happen to a great American City, Minneapolis,” Trump tweeted around 1 a.m. Friday. He added, “These THUGS are dishonoring the memory of George Floyd, and I won’t let that happen.”

The president, in promising the U.S. military would take control of the situation if it escalated, added, “When the looting starts, the shooting starts.”

Trump blamed Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey (D) for the city’s 3rd Precinct building getting overrun by protesters. He said the mayor needed to “get his act together and bring the City under control, or I will send in the National Guard & get the job done right.”

It’s unclear what Trump was referencing, as Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz (D) had already activated the National Guard earlier in the day, with more than 500 soldiers sent to St. Paul, Minneapolis and surrounding communities. While federal troops can provide logistical support in cases of national emergency, they cannot be used to enforce the law.

Trump indicated that he spoke with Walz, tweeting that he assured the governor that “the Military is with him all the way.”

“Any difficulty and we will assume control but, when the looting starts, the shooting starts,” Trump tweeted.

The president’s message toward the protesters was met with backlash early Friday. Several observers noted that the phrase, “When the looting starts, the shooting starts,” was coined by Miami Police Chief Walter Headley in 1967, who vowed violent reprisals on black protesters.

By Timothy Bella
May 29, 2020 at 12:59 AM EDT

City of Minneapolis warns people to retreat from breached police precinct, warning of potential explosion

The City of Minneapolis warned people close to the police precinct that’s been breached by protesters that they should retreat from the area, citing reports suggesting an explosion was possible.

“We’re hearing unconfirmed reports that gas lines to the Third Precinct have been cut and other explosive materials are in the building,” the city tweeted around midnight local time. “If you are near the building, for your safety, PLEASE RETREAT in the event the building explodes.”

As news of the warning spread on the ground, some people began to move away from the precinct. Protesters also worried that a liquor store engulfed in flames across the street could blow up.

The city’s warning came shortly after a group of demonstrators protesting the police and their role in the death of George Floyd swarmed the Minneapolis Police Department’s Third Precinct station after officers abandoned the facility. Demonstrators breached a door and entered the station as fires spread outside.

A spokesperson for the Minneapolis Police Department said that officers had left the precinct building “in the interest of the safety of our personnel.”

Videos and images of the breached police precinct were widely shared on social media as the protests continued deep into the night.

By Timothy Bella and Jared Goyette
May 29, 2020 at 12:08 AM EDT

Minneapolis protesters breach police precinct, set fires outside

A large group of protesters breached the Minneapolis Police Department’s Third Precinct station just after 11 p.m. Thursday after officers evacuated the building.

Some demonstrators entered the station as others set fires outside, launched fireworks and chanted “No Justice, No Peace.” Video from inside the building showed demonstrators walking through empty hallways as fire sprinklers soaked desks and office chairs.

A large fire later engulfed barricades outside the precinct and spread into the front of the building. Some protesters grabbed wooden barricades and used them to try to batter open the station’s windows, which are covered with plywood.

A spokesperson for the Minneapolis Police Department said its officers had left the building “in the interest of the safety of our personnel.”

By midnight, hundreds of demonstrators had gathered outside, with no sign of police nearby.

By Tim Elfrink and Jared Goyette
May 28, 2020 at 11:54 PM EDT

‘These are folks reacting to a violent system’: Minneapolis activist says the riots feel like an ‘uprising’

Walking down Interstate 35W in Minneapolis, Michael McDowell says the crowds gathered to protest the death of George Floyd are the people who’ve been unheard.

Shirtless and wearing a white face mask, McDowell, an activist and founder of Black Lives Matter Minneapolis, evoked Martin Luther King Jr. in noting how the riots that have raged through the city are a natural response to Floyd’s death.

“There are folks reacting to a violent system,” said McDowell. “You can replace property, you can replace businesses, you can replace material things, but you can’t replace a life. That man is gone forever because some cop felt like he had the right to take his life. A lot of folks are tired of that. They’re not going to take it anymore.”

That’s why, he said, “Minneapolis is burning.” Reflecting on the violent images and scenes that have come out of Minneapolis this week, McDowell said there was no controlling a community reacting to the violence like they saw in the video of Floyd’s final moments, comparing what he’s seen to “an uprising.”

He emphasized that he supports the violence that’s unfolded at local businesses.

“I don’t think that folks are being anywhere as violent as the system has been toward them,” he said. “At the end of the day, people still have their life. They can rebuild all that s---.”

By Timothy Bella and Jared Goyette
May 28, 2020 at 11:16 PM EDT

Videos capture driver swerving in seeming attempt to hit protester in Denver

Video footage captured a car plowing through a crowd of protesters who gathered in downtown Denver amid outrage over the death of George Floyd, then swerving in what looks like an attempt to hit one person who ran away.

Denver resident Annabel Escobar, who posted her clip of the harrowing moment to Twitter, told The Washington Post that she went out Thursday afternoon — like thousands around the country — to call for criminal charges for the officers involved in Floyd’s fatal arrest Monday. The 29-year-old elementary school teacher was heartbroken watching Floyd’s body go limp in viral video as an officer knelt on his neck.

Demonstrations in the Colorado capital were peaceful at first, she said, as she rallied with friends.

Then there were reports of shots fired toward the Capitol where crowds were demonstrating. Police said there were no known injuries.

And then there was the driver who did not stop as protesters headed back toward Capitol blocked her way, Escobar said. One protester, Escobar said, jumped up on the front of the car to avoid getting run over.

He quickly hopped off and ran away in her footage. But then the car turned right and accelerated toward him.

“Watch out!” someone yelled amid screams, as the man dove to the side. People rushed toward the car as it sped off.

“She was laughing,” Escobar said of the driver, calling the woman’s swerve “a vicious act.”

Escobar said she spoke later with the man, whom she does not know, and he said he was “fine.” The police have been notified, she said.

The Denver Police Department did not immediately respond to an inquiry about the incident Thursday night.

By Hannah Knowles
May 28, 2020 at 10:38 PM EDT

Demonstrators in Chicago demand justice in George Floyd’s death

In Englewood, on Chicago’s far South Side, about 100 people gathered at a street corner with a banner declaring, “demand justice.”

Small walking protests have been happening in the neighborhood throughout the day. Two men, Sam Thomas, 25, and Robert Laster, 26, spent the afternoon walking from downtown to their neighborhood while dragging the U.S. flag behind them. At the protest, after hours of being pulled along city sidewalks, the flag is dirty and crumpled, a symbol of how both men say they feel about their country in the wake of police killings of unarmed black men.

“It’s unfair how they treat us, that’s why we walk around and drag it,” Thomas said. “We got to let our presence be known. We don’t need this government which won’t stand up for innocent people.”

For Thomas, watching George Floyd die on video under the knee of a Minneapolis police officer was bad enough because he said Floyd looked “like a family member.”

“That hurt,” he said. “That could have been my uncle."

Laster said as disturbing as the Floyd video was, he was even more disturbed that “nobody stopped anyone from killing our people.”

Nora, 20, and Kobie, 22, who asked to not be identified by their last names, have been following the different protests on Twitter because they want to support the message.

The police shootings “won’t change unless [the police] see people wanting change,” Kobie said. “They think it’s okay to kill us.”

For Nora, Floyd’s killing reminded her of names like Eric Garner, the black man killed by a New York City police officer in 2014, and, closer to home, Laquan McDonald, a Chicago teenager fatally shot 16 times by police officer Jason Van Dyke that same year. She doesn’t expect justice meted out to the four Minnesota police officers involved in Floyd’s death because of the sentence Van Dyke received.

“Even if [they] go to trial, it will be a question if they’ll be held accountable,” she said.

Both say they have no hope that anything will change. “Most definitely not,” said Kobie. For Nora, nothing will change “unless [the protests] get real violent or something bad happens. Then maybe.”

By Mark Guarino
May 28, 2020 at 10:22 PM EDT

Intense standoff between police and protesters unfolds in St. Paul

An intense standoff between police and protesters unfolded Thursday night in St. Paul, near the University Avenue tire store where an officer’s car was smashed earlier.

The situation in St. Paul saw protesters approaching police with their hands up. Soon, officers began firing rubber bullets into the crowd. Officers would then close in from the street, causing demonstrators to run into nearby neighborhoods as tear gas was released into the crowds.

C’Monie Scott, 22, has been out protesting for the last two days. She said she joined the crowd in St. Paul on two hours of sleep.

“I’ve seen the video,” she said. “Honestly, it had me and my girlfriend in tears.”

She added, “You wouldn’t hear a grown man cry for his mama unless he knew he was going to lose his life.”

By Tarkor Zehn
May 28, 2020 at 10:07 PM EDT

More than 40 protesters arrested in Manhattan, police say

More than 40 people were arrested in Manhattan on Thursday as they called for justice in the death of George Floyd.

The protests began at about 3 p.m. at Union Square and spread throughout south Manhattan, said New York Police Lt. John Grimpel. He said the demonstrations quickly devolved into violent clashes.

Grimpel did not detail all of the reasons for the arrests, saying that charges were pending. He said one woman with a knife was arrested, and a man was detained after throwing a garbage can that struck a police officer in the head. Another person was arrested for trying to remove the gun from a captain’s holster, he said.

No one was arrested for violating social distancing mandates, he said.

Multiple officers were hurt and taken to a hospital, but their injuries were not believed to be life-threatening, according to Grimpel.

“Right now, it appears to be quieted down and over,” he said shortly before 10 p.m.

By Hannah Knowles
May 28, 2020 at 9:44 PM EDT

Thousands march in downtown Minneapolis, some attempting to shut down highway

People filled a plaza and later took over an inner section in downtown Minneapolis by City Hall in a rally to demand that all four officers who were at the scene when George Floyd was arrested be immediately arrested and charged with murder.

Some protesters attempted to shut down Interstate 35W nearby. But crowds also made way at one point for an ambulance, cheering after it passed. Demonstrations continued late into the evening, as thousands congregated outside a bank amid honking cars.

The scene was calm earlier as some of the Twin Cities’ most recognized police reform advocates addressed the crowd, which was young, with teenagers and 20-somethings seemingly in the majority.

“If the murder is on videotape for all to see, why aren’t the murderers in jail now?” said Michelle Gross of Communities United Against Police Brutality, drawing a cheer.

Like the other speakers, she blamed the fires and looting of the previous night on systemic failures.

“The fires of the night belong completely and squarely at the people over there,” she said, pointing to Minneapolis City Hall.

Among the crowd was Emily Butler, 29, an African American woman and a teacher. She said the fact that the rally was held downtown, away from the residential neighborhood that had been the scene of conflict, made a difference.

“It feels fairly calm, but I would say it’s removed from reality, while two of our city’s main black neighborhoods are burning,” she said. “This is a predominantly white, liberal area and it feels very safe, very white.”

She said she also blames local government for the chaos on Wednesday night.

“None of this needed to have happened. All of this was preventable,” she added. “Monday night, Tuesday morning, they had every chance to prevent this from happening, and the city and the state turned a blind eye.”

By Jared Goyette and Sheila Regan
May 28, 2020 at 9:20 PM EDT

St. Paul mayor questions delay in arrests: ‘I’m tired of asking... how egregious does it have to be?’

Speaking Thursday evening with public radio station MPR News, the mayor of St. Paul questioned why law enforcement agencies have yet to arrest officers involved in the death of George Floyd, saying he hopes that they’re waiting to get “all their ducks in a row.”

Mayor Melvin Carter — who is black, like Floyd — said he “would love to see an arrest soon rather than later.” Federal and local officials emphasized earlier at a Thursday news conference that they want to conduct a thorough investigation, as protesters continued to call for criminal charges.

“I’m glad to know that they’re focused on it,” Carter said. “I’m glad to know that we got their attention. I want to be really clear … those officers belong in jail. I’m pretty convinced that if we had a video of me doing something like that out in the street in broad daylight, with Mr. Floyd begging for his life, crying for his mom while bystanders scream this man is dying — I’m confident that we’d have figured out a way to get me in jail by now.”

He said he’s seen too many officers acquitted on similar behavior.

“I’m tired of asking the question, how egregious does it have to be?” he said.

As flames, looting and vandalism in the wake of Floyd’s death spread to St. Paul, Carter said he welcomed the deployment of the Minnesota National Guard and urged people again to stay home.

By Hannah Knowles
May 28, 2020 at 9:00 PM EDT

Shots fired toward Colorado State Capitol in Denver where protesters had gathered, police say

Shots were fired Thursday evening at the Colorado State Capitol in Denver where people had gathered to protest the death of George Floyd and call for justice, police said.

“We just got shot at,” state Rep. Leslie Herod tweeted shortly after 5:30 p.m. local time, adding that someone fired “into the rally.” Denver police spokesman Kurt Barnes told the Denver Post that six or seven shots were fired toward the capitol about 5:35 p.m.

“But we do not at this point have any correlation to the protest or the protesters,” Barnes told the newspaper.

The Denver Police Department tweeted that motive behind the shooting was unclear and police did not have a suspect in custody. Officers were on scene at Colfax Avenue and 15th Street, the department said.

By Hannah Knowles
May 28, 2020 at 8:50 PM EDT

Investigation into Floyd’s death is ‘highest of the high’ priorities, U.S. attorney says

U.S. Attorney for Minnesota Erica MacDonald said the Justice Department has made the investigation into George Floyd’s death a top priority, assigning “the highest of the high” to work on it.

MacDonald said at a news conference Thursday evening that the department’s investigation will focus on whether the officers violated Floyd’s federal civil rights while acting “under the color of law.”

“It must be proven that the subject took action or did not take action when he or she knew that was wrong and chose to do it anyway,” MacDonald said. She insisted the investigation would be thorough and done right — a clear signal not to expect a necessarily quick resolution.

FBI Special Agent in Charge Rainer Drolshagen asked for the public to help in the investigation and called for anyone who was present before, during or after the incident to come forward to “help build the best picture of what occurred.”

“No tip is too small,” Drolshagen said.

By Kim Bellware
May 28, 2020 at 8:35 PM EDT

‘We have to do this right’: Local authorities vow to conduct a thorough investigation, but urge patience

Investigators probing George Floyd’s death pleaded for the public’s patience and understanding as they warned it was too soon to announce what, if any, charges the four Minneapolis police officers who arrested Floyd might face.

“Sometimes that [investigation] takes a little time, and we ask people to be patient,” Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman said during a news conference Thursday evening. “We have to do this right.”

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey (D) is among the local officials calling for arrests after a viral video showed one officer holding his knee to Floyd’s neck even as Floyd said he could not breathe. Outrage over the incident has sparked two days of intensifying protests in Minneapolis and across the country; officials with the Department of Justice, the FBI, the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension and the Hennepin County attorney’s office delivered their remarks as the Twin Cities area braced for another night of both peaceful protests and civil unrest.

Freeman’s office will decide whether to bring any state criminal charges against the officers — something many in the community have been calling for.

“We have to do this right. We have to prove this in a court of law,” Freeman said.

He acknowledged the hurt and anger in the community — and the demand for the officers to be held accountable for Floyd’s death — but cited the 2015 case of Freddie Gray in Baltimore as a reason to avoid hasty prosecution.

“It was a rush to charge, it was a rush to justice, and all of those people were found not guilty,” Freeman said of the six officers who were initially charged in Gray’s death; three of them were eventually acquitted, and prosecutors dropped charges against the remaining three.

Seeking to reassure a wary community, Freeman noted that his office is one of the few in the United States to have successfully prosecuted an officer for unreasonable use of force. Last year, Freeman’s office convicted Minneapolis Police Officer Mohamed Noor for fatally shooting Justine Damond, a 40-year-old Australian woman, in 2017. Noor, who is black, was sentenced to 12½ years in prison.

By Kim Bellware
May 28, 2020 at 7:36 PM EDT

Large fire breaks out at auto store in St. Paul

Firefighters are battling flames that engulfed a Napa Auto Parts on a St. Paul, Minn., street where police said they had responded to looting and vandalism throughout the day.

The St. Paul Police Department urged people to avoid the area in a tweet reporting a “large fire” shortly after 6 p.m. local time. Not long after, tear gas was deployed to disperse crowds in front of the building.

Minneapolis businesses were devastated overnight by fires that officials said were intentionally set as gatherings turned destructive.

Blocks away, men smashed a parked police vehicle as onlookers denounced the authorities, then left minutes before officers arrived.

By Hannah Knowles and Tarkor Zehn
May 28, 2020 at 7:02 PM EDT

Police fire tear gas into crowd of protesters at St. Paul Target

Police officers fired tear gas Thursday afternoon into a crowd of protesters at a Target in St. Paul, where unrest over George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis has spread. Officers barricaded the department store entrance with their vehicles and stood in front, some holding batons.

Across the street, the windows of a Verizon store and a vitamin shop had been shattered, and some items had been taken. City police said throughout the day that they were responding to looting and property damage as well as objects thrown at officers, and dozens of people had stormed the Target earlier and attempted to take merchandise without paying, police said.

Store owners in the area rushed during the afternoon to board up their windows and hang signs that read “black-owned business” or “community-owned business.”

At a nearby Metro PCS, an African American man who identified himself only as Frank guarded his store with his employees and friends.

“We want to see peace prevail, but tensions are high right now,” he said. “The pain and the things people are feeling right now is rooted for years.”

Frank’s childhood friend Joe, a graduate student at Metropolitan State University standing guard with him, said: “This ain’t anger — this is pain. This is the type of stuff we need to address in the black community. They need to stop the brutality against black people.”

In Minneapolis, a large chain-link fence had been erected around the perimeter of a police union building, where a small group of protesters waved signs Thursday evening that read “Accountability” and some simply, “George Floyd.”

By Tarkor Zehn, Sheila Regan, Holly Bailey and Hannah Knowles
May 28, 2020 at 7:00 PM EDT

Walz activates the Minnesota National Guard

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz activated the National Guard on Thursday evening as the Minneapolis area braces for another night of demonstrations that have grown in intensity and, at times, destruction.

The Guard will coordinate with local agencies and the Minnesota State Patrol to provide “personnel equipment and facilities needed to respond and recover from this emergency,” according to a statement from the governor’s office.

Police departments in the Twin Cities area have been struggling to maintain order after initially peaceful gatherings in Minneapolis on Wednesday devolved into chaos overnight. Walz’s order came after Minneapolis’s mayor declared an emergency and as police said they were responding to looting and vandalism in neighboring St. Paul. Businesses in Minneapolis and surrounding metros preemptively shuttered in anticipation of unrest.

Floyd’s death in Minneapolis police custody on Monday touched off a wave of grief, frustration and anger against the Minneapolis Police Department, which has long faced accusations of racism and unjust use of force, particularly against black residents.

“As Governor, I will always defend the right to protest,” Walz (D) said in a statement. “It is how we express pain, process tragedy, and create change. That is why I am answering our local leaders’ request for Minnesota National Guard assistance to protect peaceful demonstrators, neighbors, and small businesses in Minnesota.”

Gen. Joseph Lengyel, the chief of the National Guard Bureau, had said earlier in an online event that guardsmen began preparations on Thursday morning for “civil disturbance activities” in Minnesota.

The mission is a common one for the Guard, which can be activated on the orders of either a governor or President Trump. Guardsmen have been used in other cases involving the deaths of black men at the hands of police, including in 2014 in Ferguson, Mo., and in 2015 in Baltimore.

By Dan Lamothe and Kim Bellware
May 28, 2020 at 6:00 PM EDT

House Judiciary Committee asks Justice Dept. to open 'pattern or practice’ investigation of Minneapolis police

The House Judiciary Committee on Thursday called on the Justice Department to investigate whether the death of George Floyd was part of a “pattern or practice of unconstitutional conduct” by the Minneapolis Police Department.

All of the committee’s Democrats signed the letter, which called Floyd’s death “the latest in a string of high profile and outrageous extrajudicial killings of African Americans suspected of committing minor criminal violations.”

“There simply is no excuse for any law enforcement officer to treat any human being in the brutally callous way the Minneapolis Police Department treated Mr. Floyd, apparently causing his death,” the committee wrote.

“We applaud MPD’s decision to fire four of the officers involved but call for an investigation into the full extent to which all persons involved may be civilly or criminally liable for Mr. Floyd’s death, including whether it was part of a pattern of civil rights violations by the MPD.”

The committee also called on the Justice Department to investigate the Louisville Metro Police Department for a “pattern or practice of unconstitutional conduct” as part of its probe into the death of Breonna Taylor, who was shot and killed by police in her apartment. And it asked the department to investigate the “role played by local prosecutors” with respect to the killing Ahmaud Arbery. Arbery was fatally shot while out for a jog. It took prosecutors months before bringing charges in the case, and they only did so after video footage of the incident emerged.

So-called “pattern or practice” investigations, led by the Justice Department’s civil rights investigation, explore not just individual cases, but broad practices and policies of police departments that may be discriminatory. They were a favored tool in the Obama administration, often resulting in court-enforced consent decrees mandating reforms. But as one of his final acts as attorney general, Jeff Sessions issued new guidance imposing new requirements for how the department can enter into such consent decrees, effectively restricting their use.

By Matt Zapotosky
May 28, 2020 at 5:50 PM EDT

Minneapolis region once again gripped with outrage over how police use deadly force

While the unrest gripping Minneapolis was not prompted by a fatal shooting by police, the situation echoes the most fraught demonstrations that have erupted following deaths involving police in places that include Baltimore, Ferguson, Mo., Charlotte and New York.

Some of the most high-profile shootings involving police have also happened in the Twin Cities region.

In November 2015, a Minneapolis police officer shot and killed Jamar Clark, a 24-year-old black man, spurring extended demonstrations that effectively occupied the area near the department’s 4th Precinct for weeks. Local and federal officials eventually declined to charge the officers involved.

The following year, Philando Castile was pulled over in suburban Falcon Heights by Jeronimo Yanez, an officer from another nearby suburb. Yanez shot and killed Castile during the stop, telling investigators he thought Castile “had a gun in his hand.” Yanez was charged with manslaughter and later acquitted.

In 2017, a Minneapolis police officer shot and killed Justine Damond, an Australian woman who had called police about what she believed was a possible sexual assault near her home. Her killing echoed around the world, with Australia’s then-prime minister, Malcolm Turnbull, calling it “shocking.”

Mohamed Noor, the officer involved, shot Damond through an open window when she approached the police car. He was convicted of murder last year, becoming one of the relatively rare officers sentenced for killing someone on duty.

By Mark Berman
May 28, 2020 at 5:09 PM EDT

Buses, light rail suspended by Twin Cities area’s main public transport operator over safety concerns

Officials in St. Paul took growing precautions amid unrest there Thursday, as the mayor said the situation in the city was quickly deteriorating.

Metro Transit, the main public transportation operator in the Twin Cities area, tweeted Thursday afternoon that its bus and light rail service would be suspended starting 4 p.m. local time through at least the rest of the day out of “concern for the safety of riders and employees.”

MPR News, the public radio station, reported that the office of lawmakers, state court staff and judges in the Capitol were evacuated over similar worries.

By Hannah Knowles
May 28, 2020 at 5:04 PM EDT

Trump says federal government ‘very much involved’ in Floyd investigation

Sitting in the Oval Office with Attorney General William P. Barr standing at his side, President Trump said Thursday that he and Barr had just discussed Floyd’s killing privately and are committed to having the FBI “take a very strong look … to see what went on because that was a very bad thing that I saw.”

Asked if he had spoken to Floyd’s family, Trump said he that had not but that he felt “very, very badly. It’s a very shocking sight.”

Trump declined to answer when asked if the police officer involved should be prosecuted, but said, “What I saw was not good, not good. Very bad.”

By Colby Itkowitz
May 28, 2020 at 4:41 PM EDT

St. Paul mayor begs people to stay home amid ‘rapidly devolving’ situation in capital, as police warn of ‘flash looting’

As looting and violent clashes with police spread to St. Paul on Thursday, the mayor of the state capital begged people to stay home and not protest amid outrage over the death of George Floyd, who was killed by police.

“Please keep the focus on George Floyd, on advancing our movement, and on preventing this from ever happening again. We can all be in that fight together,” Mayor Melvin Carter tweeted Thursday afternoon, as St. Paul police said they were trying to disperse groups damaging property and trying to steal merchandise on multiple blocks.

“The situation in our city right now is heartbreaking & rapidly devolving,” he continued. “I’m angry/ sad as anyone & pushing for the officers who killed George Floyd to be arrested ASAP. Destroying places we rely on for jobs, food & medicine won’t help us prevent it from happening again.”

After a night of destruction and fires in Minneapolis, police there said they are “not experiencing many issues other than numerous fires.”

“The problems are occurring in cities around the metro,” Minneapolis Police Department spokesman John Elder said via text.

Local news outlets reported that various stores in the area had preemptively closed out of fear of further looting. Police in the city of Maplewood urged people to “avoid retail areas until further notice,” citing “the potential for flash looting.”

By Hannah Knowles
May 28, 2020 at 4:21 PM EDT

Looting, property damage in St. Paul after destructive night in Minneapolis

Looting continued to rock the Twin Cities area a day after initially peaceful protests in Minneapolis turned destructive, with dozens of people storming a Target in neighboring St. Paul and grabbing items they did not pay for, police said.

Thursday afternoon, officers were still trying to disperse groups damaging property and attempting to steal from businesses throughout the city, the St. Paul Police Department said. “Please avoid the area if possible,” the department urged on Twitter, saying rocks, liquor bottles and bricks were being thrown at officers and damaging squad cars.

Fifty to 60 people “tried to overrun” the store on University Avenue about 11:30 a.m. local time Thursday, St. Paul police spokesman Steve Linders told The Washington Post. Officers quickly arrived and “broke that group up,” he said, with many people dropping items and running out. He said no arrests were made.

One person was detained, however, after apparently attempting to drive at a person on foot in the area, missing and then crashing into another vehicle, Linders said. The person on foot ran off, and no further information was available, he said.

A Minneapolis StarTribune reporter posted video showing police using tear gas along the street.

St. Paul City Council member Mitra Jalali, who went out to University Avenue amid the unrest, called the situation “volatile” and “not good.” She emphasized that she wants to see police working “to de-escalate whenever and however possible.”

“People out here are hurt and angry and frustrated,” she said. “This isn’t happening for no reason. We have seen folks that are just really, really hurt from years and years of overlapping causes and conditions,” she added, denouncing “structural racism” that existed before George Floyd’s death Monday.

The St. Paul Police Department sent about 40 of its officers to Minneapolis on Wednesday night and early Thursday to protect firefighters who were being targeted with rocks as buildings burned, Linders said. The officers have returned to St. Paul, he said, though he said he was not sure whether they would be needed again Thursday night.

While some have criticized Wednesday night’s police response in Minneapolis as insufficient to keep the peace, Jalali did not support sending St. Paul officers to the area of Floyd’s death and remained skeptical that a larger police presence would help.

“It’s not automatically a solution to send cops somewhere,” she said. “There is an according risk if one officer makes one move in one wrong place. Then we’ve suddenly thrown gasoline on an already high bonfire.”

Linders said police in St. Paul care greatly about protecting free speech and the right to protest but “won’t sacrifice people’s safety or the city’s infrastructure.”

By Hannah Knowles
May 28, 2020 at 2:37 PM EDT

Minneapolis leaders call for peace, blame ‘outsiders’ for destruction

Minneapolis leaders sought to reassure the public Thursday in the wake of peaceful protests that morphed into fires and looting — a shift the police chief largely blamed on outsiders.

Mayor Jacob Frey said during a Thursday news conference that the work ahead will focus on community safety, including the protection of infrastructure such as grocery stores that residents need to access amid the coronavirus pandemic. At least 16 buildings were damaged in the chaos, the fire chief confirmed.

Frey acknowledged the emotion that has gripped the city’s since Floyd’s death in police custody Monday and called for Minneapolitans to come together for healing and understanding.

“If you’re feeling that sadness and that anger, it’s not only understandable, it’s right. It’s a reflection of the truth our black community has lived,” Frey said. He said the anger and sadness in the city’s black community are “not just because of five minutes of horror, but 400 years.”

City Council Vice President Andrea Jenkins took the mic and echoed the mayor’s sentiments but noted that people’s right to express anger does not extend to violence or destruction.

“We cannot allow outsiders or our own Minneapolitan residents to destroy our city,” Jenkins said. “We want to work together to ensure that people have their voices heard in a safe manner.”

Police Chief Medaria Arradondo fielded questions about what some officials called an insufficient police response to Wednesday’s destruction. Arradondo acknowledged a “dynamic shift” in the tenor of protests and said the events of Wednesday appeared to include “a different group of individuals” than the night before.

“There was a core group of people that had been really focused on causing destruction,” he said of the looting and fires. “It was clear to me that many of the people involved in the criminal conduct last night were not known Minneapolitans.”

The acts of arson were unexpected, Arradondo said, and the decision to let some buildings burn came down to a “matter of resources.” Protesters threw rocks and bottles at responding firefighters at several arson sites, and Arradondo said the fire chief was concerned about endangering his firefighters.

Ahead of protests planned for Thursday, city officials said they will designate a “healing space” near the 3rd Precinct for the community to gather and grieve.

Separately, the mayor has raised the possibility of reinforcements from the Minnesota National Guard, but it was unclear Thursday whether he had spoken with Gov. Tim Walz (D) on the issue.

By Kim Bellware
May 28, 2020 at 2:35 PM EDT

AG personally calls U.S. attorney in Minnesota for briefing on Floyd investigation

With protests turning violent in Minnesota on Wednesday night, Attorney General William P. Barr personally called the U.S. attorney there to discuss what was happening on the ground and the investigation into the death of George Floyd, a person familiar with the matter said.

The FBI’s investigation is in its very early stages, the person said on the condition of anonymity to discuss matters that are not yet public, as officials are seeking more witness accounts or recordings of the incident. The Justice Department’s investigation into high-profile deaths of people at the hands of police officers can take months or even years, with officials often concluding that they cannot meet the high bar to substantiate civil rights charges.

White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said Thursday that President Trump is receiving a briefing from Barr and the FBI on the Floyd case.

“He was very upset when he saw that video,” she said of Trump. “It was egregious, appalling, tragic, and it prompted” the White House chief of Staff “to pick up the phone” and expedite the investigation.

By Matt Zapotosky and Felicia Sonmez
May 28, 2020 at 1:38 PM EDT

Sen. Lindsey Graham suggests Judiciary Committee may hold hearing on police violence

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.) said Thursday that his panel may hold a hearing on the issue of police violence in the wake of Floyd’s death.

In an interview with conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt, Graham said it is “not a bad idea at all” to hold a hearing to take a “30,000-foot view of things: why does this happen, how often is it, is it an aberration.”

Addressing the Floyd case in particular, Graham said “what you see on television, in my view, is just a man dying for no good reason.”

“It’s a use of force beyond what the situation would bear. It’s hard to watch, and I just imagine how many people died without videos,” he said.

Graham also said he supports President Trump’s move to have the federal government look into the incident.

“I have a lot of respect for the cops. But when you get a bad cop and you don’t come down hard, you erode trust,” he said. “So I think the president is right to have the federal government look into this incident, and I think your suggestion of having a hearing about where we are in 2020 is a good idea, and I’ll get on that.”

(Hewitt also writes opinion columns for The Washington Post.)

By Felicia Sonmez
May 28, 2020 at 1:24 PM EDT

Pelosi says Floyd was tragically ‘murdered on TV’

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) addressed the Floyd case in opening remarks at her weekly news conference on Capitol Hill, saying he had been “murdered on TV.”

We’re also very sad about what happened in the case in Minnesota,” she said. “Mr. Floyd, to watch Mr. Floyd be murdered in a video at a time when we’re all so sad to begin with — it’s always tragic. It has always been tragic. But there we saw it on TV and being murdered on TV.”

Meantime, during his daily news conference regarding coronavirus, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) responded to a question about Floyd’s death. “If I was a prosecutor, I would be looking at that case from the first moment because I think there is a criminal case there,” Cuomo said, suggesting that the officer could be prosecuted.

“I think the situation was so disturbing and ugly and frightening, just frightening, that a law enforcement officer in this country could act that way,” he said.

By John Wagner
May 28, 2020 at 12:49 PM EDT

Floyd’s family plans to pursue independent autopsy, calls for peace a day after unrest

George Floyd’s family will seek an independent autopsy of his body, citing its mistrust in Minneapolis city officials, according to an attorney for the family.

Attorney Ben Crump said Thursday morning on CNN’s “New Day” that the family expects to hear Thursday from the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office about when the official medical examination will be complete.

“His family wants his body back to give him a proper funeral and also have an independent autopsy because they do not trust the city of Minneapolis after they witnessed their brother, on the ground, begging, pleading for his breath,” said Crump, who appeared with Philonise Floyd, George Floyd’s brother.

Philonise Floyd choked back tears as he described what it has been like to see the video of his brother over and over and the violent unrest that has followed. Floyd said the family wanted peace in the streets — and the harshest possible punishment for the Minneapolis police officers involved in George Floyd’s last moments alive.

“I want everybody to be peaceful right now, but people are torn and hurt because they’re tired of seeing black men die constantly, over and over again,” Philonise Floyd said. He said justice for the family would be to see the four officers “arrested, convicted of murder and given the death penalty.”

“They took my brother’s life,” he said. “He will never get that back. I will never see him again. My family will never see him again. His kids will never see him again.”

Floyd said the family was further hurt to see the way his brother was treated by a paramedic who they say “drug him across the ground.”

“Nobody out there showed empathy or compassion,” Philonise Floyd said of the first responders on the scene.

By Kim Bellware
May 28, 2020 at 11:31 AM EDT

Chaotic scene in Minneapolis after second night of protests

MINNEAPOLIS — An evening that started with peaceful protests descended into disarray and looting as the night wore on. A group of officers stood in front of a nearby precinct and tried to disrupt the crowd with flash-bang grenades and rubber bullets. At times, the tear gas was so thick, it wafted down neighborhood streets where people standing in their front yards were coughing and wiping at their eyes.

By 10 p.m., an Auto Zone had caught fire. Soon, other fires erupted, including a massive blaze at a construction site. Meanwhile, one person was shot by a pawn shop owner and died at a hospital, police told the Star Tribune, as looters ransacked a Target, Foot Locker and nearby small businesses.

The chaos that followed Wednesday’s demonstrations prompted state and local officials to plea for peace

“Please, Minneapolis, we cannot let tragedy beget more tragedy,” Mayor Jacob Frey (D) said in a late-night statement. The mayor requested help from the state’s National Guard amid a second night of disruption.

His calls for calm echoed those of Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), whose district covers some of the affected area.

“Violence only begets violence," she tweeted, urging peaceful protest. "More force is only going to lead to more lives lost and more devastation.”

Police Chief Medaria Arradondo told local media the majority of the protesters remained peaceful, but told Minnesota Public Radio later that night that the display had been “hijacked” by some protesters and those looting and vandalizing businesses.

After police faced stinging criticism for heavy-handed tactics deployed during the first night of protests, critics like City Council Member Jeremiah Ellison were among those who expressed disappointment at the department’s failure to maintain public safety late Wednesday.

"We always do this — we create a barrier, put the police out there, put them in a line, put face masks, depersonalize them, make them look as scary as possible and we always get this result, and then we want to point the finger at community members,” Ellison told MPR Thursday.

The chaotic scenes followed the death of 46-year-old George Floyd on Monday, which came after a white officer pinned the handcuffed father of two to the pavement outside of a market where employees had called police about a counterfeit bill. The police encounter was caught on a viral video that has sparked national outrage and inflamed existing tensions in a community where officers have long been accused of racism.

In the suburb of Oakdale, hundreds of protesters on Wednesday gathered outside the home of Derek Chauvin, the police officer who was captured on the video with his knee on Floyd’s neck. According to the Star Tribune, red paint was poured onto Chauvin’s driveway, and the word “killer” was written on the garage door.

Police Chief Medaria Arradondo swiftly fired Chauvin after Floyd’s death, along with the three other involved officers, identified by authorities Wednesday as Thomas Lane, Tou Thao and J. Alexander Kueng. President Trump on Wednesday tweeted that he had asked the FBI, which is investigating the death, to expedite its work, adding that “Justice will be served!”

But the response from authorities has done little to assuage a community that says it has long suffered undue treatment by local officers and has called for the officers’ arrests.

By Holly Bailey, Brittany Shammas and Kim Bellware
May 28, 2020 at 11:24 AM EDT

Police chiefs signal shift as they react with disgust to Minneapolis death

Police chiefs across the United States, many of whom have been pushing their officers to de-escalate tense situations and decrease their use of force, responded with disgust Wednesday to the death of George Floyd after an encounter with Minneapolis officers and moved to reassure their communities that they would not tolerate such brutality.

In years past, police officials probably would have called for full, time-consuming investigations and patience from angry citizens until all the facts were in. Not this time.

Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo fired four officers within 24 hours, and the heads of the International Association of Chiefs of Police and the Major Cities Chiefs Association promptly issued statements of support for that move and denounced the prolonged suffocation of Floyd captured on cellphone video and soon streamed around the world.

“The death of Mr. Floyd is deeply disturbing and should be of concern to all Americans,” said the Major Cities Chiefs, headed by Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo. “The officers’ actions are inconsistent with the training and protocols of our profession and MCCA commends Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo for his swift and decisive action to terminate the employment of the officers involved.”

By Tom Jackman
May 28, 2020 at 11:17 AM EDT

Justice Dept. and FBI pledge ‘robust criminal investigation’ into Floyd’s death

Top federal law enforcement officials in the Minneapolis area said Thursday that they “are conducting a robust criminal investigation” into Floyd’s death, probing whether any of the former police officers involved had violated federal law.

“The Department of Justice has made the investigation a top priority and has assigned experienced prosecutors and FBI criminal investigators to the matter,” Erica MacDonald, the U.S. attorney in Minneapolis, and Rainer Drolshagen, the FBI special agent in charge of the bureau’s Minneapolis field office, said in a joint statement.

President Trump also weighed in on a federal probe, writing Wednesday on Twitter that he had asked the Justice Department and FBI to investigate Floyd’s “very sad and tragic death.”

The FBI investigation will gather witness statements and other evidence before the U.S. attorney’s office decides whether to pursue federal charges. Civil rights charges require clearing a high bar because prosecutors have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that officers in such cases willfully moved to deprive someone of their constitutional rights.

By Mark Berman
May 28, 2020 at 10:58 AM EDT

Former NBA star Stephen Jackson says he was ‘destroyed’ by the death of his ‘twin’

Stephen Jackson, who spent 14 seasons in the NBA, said in emotional social media posts and interviews that George Floyd “was my brother” and that they called each other “Twin.”

“Everybody know me and Floyd called each other ‘Twin,’ ” Jackson said in an Instagram video, adding: “My boy was doing what he was supposed to do, man, and y’all go kill my brother, man.”

Jackson is four years younger than Floyd, but both grew up in the Houston area. Jackson said on Thursday’s “Today” show that video of Floyd’s final moments “just destroyed me. I haven’t been the same since I’ve seen it.”

After protests in Minneapolis intensified, Jackson said that wasn’t how Floyd would want to be remembered. “He would be happy that people were fighting for him,” he said, “but that’s not the way he’d want to do it. He’d want the people responsible for his death penalized. … [He] would want everybody standing together fighting for justice.”

Read more here.

By Cindy Boren
May 28, 2020 at 10:56 AM EDT

University of Minnesota limits ties to Minneapolis Police Department after Floyd’s death

The University of Minnesota says it is reducing ties with the Minneapolis Police Department after George Floyd’s death while in the custody of officers.

President Joan Gabel said in a letter to the university community that the school would no longer contract with the police department to receive law enforcement support for football games, concerts and other large events, or for specialized services — such as K-9 explosive-detection units — at campus events.

“Our hearts are broken after watching the appalling video capturing the actions of Minneapolis Police Department (MPD) officers against George Floyd leading to his tragic death,” Gabel wrote. “As a community, we are outraged and grief-stricken. I do not have the words to fully express my pain and anger and I know that many in our community share those feelings, but also fear for their own safety. This will not stand.”

Read more here.

By Valerie Strauss