MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey issued another curfew for the city Thursday night and condemned the rioting that took place downtown Wednesday, in which mobs of people smashed storefronts and looted buildings, motivated by a rumor of a fatal police shooting.
In a late morning press conference, the mayor told reporters that happened Wednesday was not a form of protest over racial injustice or police accountability.
“Every person in every neighborhood in our entire city deserves to feel safe,” Frey said. “What transpired yesterday does not bring us closer to safety, it does not bring us closer to advancing racial justice in the way we all want.”
Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo said lawlessness will no longer be tolerated in the city. He said that officers arrested about 50 people overnight, most of which were from the Twin Cities. A few of the rioters were from out of state.
Frey issued another curfew for Thursday night. It’s slated to start at 8 p.m. and last until 6 a.m. Friday. Those in violation face fines and jail time.
The rioting happened Wednesday night after police say a crowd mistook a man’s suicide for a fatal police shooting. The looting started at the Target store on Nicollet Mall and spread to businesses up and down the commercial corridor.
In a statement Thursday, Target said the Nicollet Mall location will reopen later in the day. The Minneapolis-based retailer also said that its downtown headquarters on Nicollet Mall was also damaged, as were the stores in Uptown and Dinkytown.
The rioting persisted Wednesday even though police quickly released video of the man’s suicide and distributed it to prominent members of the community. Still, the anger boiled over as many in the Twin Cities have been enraged by police this summer following the death of George Floyd and the recent shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin. (The video of the suicide has since been removed from police social media accounts.)
In a prompt response to the looting, Frey declared a state of emergency. Overnight, a curfew was put in place, roads were blocked to downtown Minneapolis, and bus and light rail service were halted; they have since resumed.
Gov. Tim Walz also declared a peacetime emergency and activated the National Guard. Large military trucks could be seen on Nicollet Mall at noontime Thursday as crews boarded up stores and swept broken glass from the sidewalks. The soldiers will be helping police enforce the curfew Thursday night.
“Let’s restore order, let’s restore peace,” Frey said. “That is my ask for everyone tonight.”
Source: CBS Minnesota