On Thursday, May 28, Minnesota Governor Tim Walz called in over 500 United States National Guard soldiers over the violence that erupted throughout the community over the death of George Floyd.
Local law enforcement said that authorities were dealing with unrest in 20 different areas. Stores closed early, transport came to a halt and one neighborhood was reduced to rubble and smoke.
“Please stay home. Please do not come here to protest. Please keep the focus on George Floyd, on advancing our movement and on preventing this from ever happening again,” tweeted Mayor of Saint Paul, Melvin Carter.
In a deeply troubling video recorded by onlookers, Floyd, a black man, was pinned down to the pavement by a white police officer. The officer, Derek Chauvin, held his knee on Floyd’s neck despite Floyd’s pleas for air.
The video has sparked massive outrage from the local, international and online communities with quotes of Floyd’s last few sentences before dying from suffocation.
Police and experts have also widely condemned the knee restraint used by Chauvin. Chuck Wexler, executive director of the Police Executive Research Forum, a nonprofit which researches and advises on police practices, condemned the violence, stating: “No police academy that we know of teaches a police officer to use their knee, to put it on their neck.”
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