Minneapolis was left in ruins on Friday with dozens of businesses looted or destroyed after rioting broke out for the third consecutive night in the city and protests erupted across America over the death of George Floyd.
Shocking photos show devastating aftermath of Thursday night’s riots where cheering demonstrators torched the Minneapolis Third Police Precinct demanding justice over the 46-year-old black man’s killing by cops.
Thick smoke was seen rising into the sky as firefighters worked to contain a number of blazes early this morning and National Guard troops blocked access to streets where businesses had been damaged.
They marched side by side and block by block as they expanded a perimeter around a heavily damaged area.
Protesters’ fury over the death of Floyd – who was seen in video pleading for breath as white officer Derek Chauvin pressed his knee against him – intensified late Thursday night when rioters broke in and set fire to the police station, roaming through its corridors with baseball bats, axes and torches.
Chaotic scenes and protests also unfolded across several states including New York, Ohio, California and Colorado, where shots were fired at the State Capitol in Denver where hundreds marched to demand justice.
President Trump responded to the carnage late this morning in a tweet saying ‘George Floyd will not have died in vain’ – after threatening to ‘assume control’ of Minneapolis with military intervention and warning ‘thugs’, ‘when the looting starts the shooting starts.’
‘The National Guard has arrived on the scene. They are in Minneapolis and fully prepared. George Floyd will not have died in vain. Respect his memory!!!’ he tweeted.
Aftermath: Out of control rioters wreaked havoc on nearly every corner of the city, setting buildings alight and vandalizing property as anger of Floyd’s death raged on last night
Apocalyptic scenes of fire and destruction are seen in the Downtown area of Minneapolis after a savage night of lawlessnes
Buildings were torched and structures torn down leaving widespread destruction across Minneapolis
Out of control fires rage on and looting continues as authorities struggle to regain control early Friday
A member of the National Guard patrols near a burned out building on the fourth day of protests in Minneapolis
A man walks among rubble in the streets of Minneapolis early Friday after chaos erupted last night
A torched car sits at an empty lot after rioters set the city ablaze as they demanded justice of George Floyd’s death
Minnesota State Patrol officers stood guard blocking access to streets where businesses had been damaged
The president’s incendiary tweet last night is now hidden by a warning that it violated Twitter’s rules about glorifying violence – but the message can be bypassed and the tweet remains live.
It comes as:
- Break-off protests over Floyd’s death broke out across the US in Minnesota, New York, Colorado, Ohio, LA
- Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey was forced to declare a state of emergency as rioting raged on in the city
- 500 National Guard soldiers were deployed to the streets of Minneapolis and neighboring city of St. Paul
- Trump accused Mayor Frey of showing a ‘total lack of leadership’ and threatened to send in military troops
- Minneapolis Police Department were forced to flee the 3rd Precinct after angry rioters set fire to the building
- Prosecutors said there was ‘evidence that does not support criminal charges’ in the case of four fired cops
Minnesota Governor Tim Walz addressed the public in a press conference on Friday calling for order to be restored in the streets.
While he acknowledged the community’s right to feel ‘pain and anguish’, Walz said he refuses to allow the unrest to overshadow George Floyd’s death.
‘We have to restore order…before we turn back to where we should be spending our energy – making sure that justice is served,’ he said. ‘We cannot have the looting and the recklessness that went on [last night].’
‘Minneapolis and St. Paul are on fire. The fires still smolder in our streets. The ashes are symbolic of decades and generations of pain, of anguish, unheard,’ he added.
Walz also issued a public apology to the members of the CNN television crew who were arrested by Minnesota State Patrol while reporting on the mayhem this morning.
The governor said he took ‘full responsibility’ over the incident and had called CNN President Jeff Zucker, who he described as ‘incredibly angry’, to apologize.
Extraordinary scenes captured live on air earlier today showed CNN reporter Omar Jimenez being handcuffed and led away by state troopers. A producer and a photojournalist for the network were also taken away in handcuffs.
‘I failed you last night in that. And it does not escape me that we are here on the catalyst that lit this spark by what happened with a police detainment of George Floyd and the idea that a reporter would have been taken while another police action was in play is inexcusable,’ Walz said.
‘The protection and security and safety of the journalists covering this is a top priority. Not because it’s a nice thing to do. Because it is a key component of how we fix this.’
Police using pepper spray and batons were seen arriving to disperse protesters outside the police station at just after 4.30am. It was the first time authorities had been seen in the area for around an hour.
The dark past of ‘when the looting stars, the shooting starts’: How Donald Trump used warning issued by notoriously anti-black Miami police chief during 1968 protests
President Donald Trump, in his controversial tweet on the Minneapolis riot that was flagged by Twitter, quoted a former Miami police chief known for violent reprisals on black protesters in the 1960s.
‘When the looting starts, the shooting starts,’ Trump wrote in a tweet, that the company muzzled – but left online in case people wanted to read it – because they said it ‘violated Twitter rules about glorifying violence.’
The words echoed the ones used by late Miami police chief Walter Headley, who issued a ‘get tough’ policy on black protesters during race riots in the city in the 1960s.
Late Miami police chief Walter Headley said at the December 1967 press conference with the Rev. Theodore Gibsonts’
‘We haven’t had any serious problems with civil uprising and looting,’ Headley said at a December 1967 news conference The New York Times reported at the time, ‘because I’ve let the word filter down that when the looting starts, the shooting starts.’
‘We don’t mind being accused of police brutality,’ Headley noted. ‘They haven’t seen anything yet.’
Headley’s words angered black leaders. That and his aggressive policies against blacks have been cited as major factors that contributed to the race riots in the city during the late 1960s, particularly in 1968 when Republicans were in town for their Republican National Convention.
While Richard Nixon accepted his party’s nomination, across the bay from Miami Beach, blacks in Miami’s Liberty neighborhood protested working conditions and treatment of blacks. Police intervened and two protesters were killed.
Miami policemen, one holding the man’s arm and the other with an arm lock on his neck, drag away a Negro youth during a clash between police and rioters in that city’s predominantly Negro Liberty City district in August 1968
The president’s tweet was in response to protesters in Minneapolis who set fire to a police station there as a part of series of demonstrations throughout the country in support of George Floyd, the African American man who died when a white police officer pressed a knee into his neck.
The president called the demonstrators in Minnesota ‘thugs’ and threatened to send in the National Guard and get ‘the job done right.’
Twitter put a warning on the tweet less than three hours later, a move that came after the president designed an executive order seeking to strip social media companies of their legal protections, potentially exposing them to a flood of lawsuits.
A total of 500 National Guard soldiers were deployed to the streets of Minneapolis and neighboring St. Paul and Mayor Jacob Frey declared a state of emergency as rioting continued into the early hours.
Frey called the looting ‘unacceptable’ but raged at Trump for ‘refusing to take responsibility for your own actions’, saying the president ‘knows nothing about the strength of Minneapolis’.
Trump’s first tweet in the chain accused the ‘Radical Left Mayor’ of showing ‘a total lack of leadership’ and warned he was poised to send in troops. This tweet was not hidden by Twitter.
Break-off protests over Floyd’s death are building across several states, with disturbing footage showing the driver of a black SUV appearing to deliberately mow down a Black Lives Matter protester in Denver – where panic was sparked when shots were fired during a march on the Colorado State Capitol.
In New York City, NYPD officers were seen brawling on the ground with protesters as at least 70 people were arrested in the Big Apple.
Protesters in Ohio smashed the windows of the statehouse in downtown Columbus and raided the building and demonstrators damaged a police cruiser in downtown Los Angeles.
Over in Kentucky, seven people were shot in downtown Louisville during a protest demanding justice for black woman Breonna Taylor who was shot dead by cops back in March, as the Floyd case reignited tensions between cops and the African-American community.
President Trump waded in on the escalating violence in Minneapolis in the early hours of Friday as he warned he would step in and take over if officials fail to bring the rioting under control.
He blasted the ‘Radical Left Mayor’ Frey saying he needs to ‘get his act together’ while slamming protesters for ‘dishonoring the memory’ of Floyd and warning ‘when the looting starts, the shooting starts’.
‘I can’t stand back & watch this happen to a great American City, Minneapolis. A total lack of leadership. Either the very weak Radical Left Mayor, Jacob Frey, get his act together and bring the City under control, or I will send in the National Guard & get the job done right…..,’ the president tweeted.
‘These THUGS are dishonoring the memory of George Floyd, and I won’t let that happen. Just spoke to Governor Tim Walz and told him that the Military is with him all the way. Any difficulty and we will assume control but, when the looting starts, the shooting starts. Thank you!’
Speaking in the early hours of this morning, Mayor Frey fired back at the president and said: ‘Donald Trump knows nothing about the strength of Minneapolis.’
‘Weakness is refusing to take responsibility for your own actions. Weakness is pointing your finger at someone else during a time of crisis,’ he said.
‘Is this a difficult time period? Yes, but you’d better be damn sure that we’re going to get through this.’
Frey said he understood the ‘pain and anger right now in our city’, but added that ‘what we have seen over the last several hours and the past couple of nights in terms of looting is unacceptable’.
The mayor revealed it was him who had decided to evacuate the Third Precinct after determining that there were ‘imminent threats to both officers and public’.
‘The symbolism of a building cannot outweigh the importance of life, of our officers or the public. We could not risk serious injury to anyone,’ he said. ‘Brick and mortar is not as important as life.’
Minneapolis city officials issued a warning for protesters and residents to flee the scene of the Third Police Precinct as gas lines were cut because ‘other explosive materials are in the building’.
‘If you are near the building, for your safety, PLEASE RETREAT in the event the building explodes,’ the city government wrote in a Twitter update shortly before midnight.
Protesters broke into the police precinct at around 10pm, smashing up windows and setting fires inside.
As flames engulfed the building, protesters gathered out the front chanting ‘I can’t breathe’ – some of the last words Floyd said before he died.
Minneapolis Police released a statement saying that officers had fled the scene: ‘In the interest of the safety of our personnel, the Minneapolis Police Department evacuated the 3rd Precinct of its staff. Protesters forcibly entered the building and have ignited several fires.’
As law enforcement buckled under the strain of the escalating civil unrest, the Minnesota National Guard announced that around 500 soldiers had headed to Minneapolis and nearby St. Paul which has also fallen foul of rioting with businesses looted and set alight.
Footage in the early evening showed the Minneapolis Target store being targeted for a second day in a row as rioters were seen hurling the retailer’s shopping karts at a police cruiser in the store parking lot.
In the nearby St. Paul region of Minnesota, rioters threw rocks and stones at a cop car and it was left smashed up with a tree branch ripping through the windows.
Police in riot gear hit out at protesters again spraying tear gas into the crowds, while demonstrators gathered outside the home of white cop Derek Chauvin who knelt on Floyd’s neck until he passed out and later died.
As night fell, the scenes worsened with a man pictured throwing a mannequin onto a burning car as billowing smoke filled the air.
Businesses and cars were ablaze with aerial footage showing the city lit up by roaring flames.
Police in St. Paul revealed that more than 170 businesses had been damaged or looted in Minneapolis’s twin city, but there were no reports of serious injuries.
‘Calm on the horizon,’ police said in a midnight update as they vowed to work ‘shoulder-to-shoulder with local, state, federal and fire partners to protect St. Paul’.
Minnesota Governor Tim Walz activated the National Guard to Minneapolis and state troopers were called in as the city was rocked by another night of violence.
Minneapolis Mayor Frey called for a declaration of local emergency in the early evening as the city requested assistance from the state in ‘restoring safety and calm due to the civil disturbance’.
Another burnt out car is seen with its windows blown out and tires melted off after the city was set on fire
Windows were left smashed at a Lake Street/Midtown Station in the downtown area
Law enforcement officers amassed along Lake Street near Hiawatha Ave. as fires burned after a night of unrest and protests
The emergency declaration will stay in place for 72 hours and allows officials to deploy emergency regulations with immediate effect.
Carnage spread across the US Thursday night in the wake of Floyd’s death as the public grows increasingly frustrated that four days on from Floyd’s death no arrests have been made.
In Denver, what started as a peaceful march calling for justice over Floyd’s death descended into chaos as shots were fired and the driver of a black SUV appeared to deliberately run over a Black Lives Matter protester.
Footage on social media showed the car making its way through a group of protesters in the road.
As the vehicle gets through the crowd one protester is seen riding on the hood, before jumping off.
The man is then seen walking away from the car as the driver swerves the vehicle and accelerates in the direction of the man, in what appears to be an intentional move to hit him.
Onlookers are heard screaming ‘watch out’ as the shocked protester tumbles to the floor.
The man gets to his feet as the car quickly drives off chased by protesters.
This came as police were called to respond to the rally at the state Capitol after witnesses reported six or seven shots had been fired.
Terrified demonstrators were pictured taking cover on the floor amid fears there was an active shooter at the event as armed officers ran past.
Denver police said there were no reports of any injuries and no one had been taken into police custody.
Several hundred people had gathered at the state Capitol during the day before marching down Lincoln Street and Broadway where they blocked traffic.
Police hold a line on the fourth day of protests on May 29
State Police block access to the area near the Minneapolis Police third precinct following the third day of demonstrations
Minneapolis, Minnesota: The police building is engulfed in flames as rioters took over the building and set it alight
Minneapolis, Minnesota: Minneapolis city officials are urging protesters and residents to flee the scene of the Third Police Precinct
Minneapolis, Minnesota: A man throws a mannequin onto a burning car in the parking lot of a Target store
Black CNN reporter is arrested live on air by Minnesota state police while reporting on Minneapolis riots over George Floyd’s killing
A black CNN reporter was arrested live on air on Friday morning by Minnesota State Patrol while reporting on the killing of George Floyd, a black man who died after a Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck for eight minutes.
CNN correspondent Omar Jimenez was put in handcuffs and led away from his team of producers this morning at 5.11am CT after the team was moved down the street by police in riot gear.
According to one of his colleagues, the crew was told he was being arrested for refusing to move when he’d been told to but he was heard live on air telling the officers: ‘Put us back to where you want us – wherever you’d want us we’ll go. Just let us know.’
Jimenez told them they were live on air with CNN and was put in handcuffs.
CNN reporter Omar Jimenez was arrested live on air Friday by Minnesota State police for apparently refusing to move when he’d been told to despite being heard on camera telling the cops ‘tell us where you want us to go, we’ll go wherever you want.’ Other reporters at the scene who are white say they were allowed to stay without incident
The crew’s films kept rolling as Jimenez was led away. The cops said they were arrested for not moving on
He asked: ‘Do you mind telling me why I am under arrest sir? Why am I under arrest sir’ then was led away.
Two of his colleagues from the same team were also arrested. The trio were put in a police van and were driven to a precinct but were released around 90 minutes later after CNN President Jeff Zucker and Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz intervened.
Minnesota State Police has since claimed on Twitter the crew were released once they ‘confirmed’ they were reporters – which they’d done live on air, minutes before Jimenez was put in handcuffs.
Other reporters from different networks reported from the scene this morning without incident.
CNN’s Josh Campell for example said he was there but was not on camera.
‘I identified myself … they said, ‘OK, you’re permitted to be in the area. I was treated much differently than (Jimenez) was.’
Jimenez and his team have since been released.
Gov. Tim Walz has apologized to CNN President Jeff Zucker and called it ‘unacceptable’.
After being released, Jimenez returned to the air. He said: ‘Everyone was pretty cordial.
‘I said to the officer who arrested me, “look, we’re going to be here for the next few days. Where do you want us to be?” And he said “I don’t know, I’m just following orders.”
‘There was no animosity. No one was violent with me,’ he said.
Minnesota State Patrol said in a tweet that the crew were arrested then released when they were ‘confirmed to be members of the media’ but they had presented their credentials minutes before Jimenez’s arrest
‘That conversation may have happened above some of the people we were with. For us, they came back and said: “You’re with CNN, correct?”
‘They let us out of the van, we were handcuffed in the van, then they came back with our belongings. They unclipped our handcuffed. That is when we were let out.
‘There was no sort of, “sorry this was a misunderstanding.” It seemed like this conversation might have happened but it didn’t happen with us,’ he said.
‘The arrest happened, I was trying to communicate with you all. I couldn’t really understand what was going on but as we were walking away… it did cross my mind that what is really happening here?
‘The one thing that gave me a little bit of comfort was that it happened on live TV.
‘Let’s just say what happened with George Floyd… what’s happening isn’t new. It’s on camera.’
ABC’s Gabe Guttierez was also able to film a segment in front of a group of state patrol officers.
Twitter flags Donald Trump’s ‘when the looting starts the shooting starts’ threat for ‘inciting violence’ AGAIN after he repeats it on White House account amid furious attacks at platform for ‘targeting’ him
Twitter flagged President Trump’s tweet saying it was ‘glorifying violence’ for a second time after the official White House account reposted it Friday morning.
‘These THUGS are dishonoring the memory of George Floyd, and I won’t let that happen. Just spoke to Governor Tim Walz and told him that the Military is with him all the way. Any difficulty and we will assume control but, when the looting starts, the shooting starts. Thank you!’ the tweet read.
There’s been chaos in the Minnesota city since a white police officer took the life of a black man, George Floyd, by kneeing him in the neck until he stopped breathing.
President Trump tweeted Friday morning that Twitter needed to be ‘regulated’ after the site put a warning label on one of his tweets about the Minneapolis riots
Shortly after complaining about Twitter putting a warning label over his tweet, the White House’s official Twitter account reposted the message verbatim
The White House’s version of the tweet was also flagged for violating Twitter’s rules about ‘glorifying violence’
Trump initially posted it from his @realDonaldTrump account at 1 a.m. Friday.
The company attached a warning label to the tweet saying that it violated the rules.
When the president woke up Friday morning, he began angrily attacking Twitter.
‘Twitter is doing nothing about all of the lies & propaganda being put out by China or the Radical Left Democrat Party. They have targeted Republicans, Conservatives & the President of the United States,’ the president wrote. ‘Section 230 should be revoked by Congress. Until then, it will be regulated!’
He then had the official White House account repost the flagged tweet verbatim, daring the social media company to act.
The @WhiteHouse’s account continued to engage in the battle, by linking to a tweet sent out by Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, last week that called for #jihad against Israel.
‘This Tweet violated the Twitter Rules about glorifying violence. However, Twitter has determined that it will allow terrorists, dictators, and foreign propagandists to abuse its platform,’ a tweet from the official White House account read.
President Donald Trump renewed his attack with Twitter Friday morning after the website put a warning label over one of his tweets
On the original offending Trump tweet, Twitter put a warning on it less than three hours later, saying it had ‘taken action in the interest of preventing others from being inspired to commit violent acts’. Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey was informed in advance.
The tweet can no longer be liked or replied to and will not be recommended by Twitter’s algorithm, although retweets with comment are still possible – with Trump’s message initially hidden.
It is still possible to override the warning message and view the tweet, under special rules for government officials which protect the public’s right to know what their politicians have said.
Trump has feuded with the social media site in recent days for fact-checking his tweets.
Also on Friday morning, he quoted Fox News’ Maria Bartiromo saying, ‘he President has been targeted by Twitter.’
Trump then added, ‘What about all of the lies and fraudulent statements made by Adam Schiff, and so many others, on the Russian Witch Hunt Plus, Plus, Plus? What about China’s propaganda? WHO’s mistakes? No flags?’ he asked.
He then quoted Jeanine Pirro, a pro-Trump Fox News personality, who also called for regulating Twitter.
The president had signed an executive order Thursday seeking to strip social media giants of their legal protections, potentially exposing them to a flood of lawsuits- but backed Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg who distanced himself from Twitter.
Twitter had put a fact-checking label on two of Trump’s tweets on Tuesday which claimed that mail-in voting in the 2020 election would be ‘substantially fraudulent.’
And then attached the warning label to his 1 a.m. Friday tweet.
That message was a reply to an initial tweet – not red-flagged by Twitter – which took aim at the Democratic mayor of Minneapolis for his handling of the crisis.
Twitter announced the ‘public interest notice’ on the ‘shooting’ tweet around three hours after Trump had sent the message.
The social media giant said Trump’s tweet ‘violates our policies regarding the glorification of violence based on the historical context of the last line, its connection to violence, and the risk it could inspire similar actions today’.
‘As is standard with this notice, engagements with the tweet will be limited. People will be able to retweet with comment, but will not be able to like, reply or retweet it,’ a statement explained.
However, Twitter said it is ‘in the public interest for the tweet to remain accessible’ given its ‘relevance to ongoing matters of public importance’.
Tweets from elected officials are exempt from the usual rules because there is a ‘significant public interest in knowing and being able to discuss their actions and statements’, the company’s policies say.
‘As a result, in rare instances, we may choose to leave up a Tweet from an elected or government official that would otherwise be taken down.’
These exemptions are only available to accounts with more than 100,000 followers. Trump has more than 80million.
The website told Axios that ‘teams within Twitter’ had decided to red-flag the president’s tweet and that CEO Jack Dorsey was informed before it happened.
Minneapolis, Minnesota: A crowd of protesters stand near the Third Police Precinct late last night as authorities warned the building could explode
In extraordinary scenes this morning, Minnesota State Patrol arrested a CNN television crew as they reported on the unrest in Minneapolis. While live on air, CNN reporter Omar Jimenez was handcuffed and led away. A producer and a photojournalist for CNN were also led away in handcuffs.
Minneapolis, Minnesota: Fire and smoke engulf a liquor store on the third night of protests after the death of George Floyd
Minneapolis, Minnesota: Protesters take over the Minneapolis police 3rd Precinct building Thursday
Minneapolis, Minnesota: Thousands of rioters demonstrating outside a burning liquor store (top right) and the burning police precinct (bottom right)
Minneapolis, Minnesota: Protesters are seen inside Minneapolis Police third precinct after setting fire to the entrance as demonstrations continue
Minneapolis, Minnesota: Smoke was seen filling the corridors of the police precinct last night, with demonstrators running amok through the building, spraying graffiti on the walls and breaking furniture
Minneapolis, Minnesota: Rioters pile furniture onto a bonfire within the police station last night after the cops evacuated the building at around 10pm
Minneapolis, Minnesota: A rioter is seen walking through the police precinct which is filled with debris, its windows shattered and graffiti sprayed on the walls
Minneapolis, Minnesota: Protesters outside the burning police station last night. One holds a sign which says: ‘I can’t breathe,’ those the words uttered by George Floyd as a police officer knelt on his neck
Minneapolis, Minnesota: Protestors demonstrate outside of a burning Minneapolis 3rd Police Precinct on Thursday night
Minneapolis, Minnesota: A pawn shop going up in flames last night down the street from the police station which was the epicenter of carnage
Minneapolis, Minnesota: A pawn shop down the street from the 3rd precinct burns to the ground on Thursday night
Minneapolis, Minnesota: Thousands of protesters pack the streets around the burning police precinct building late into Thursday night
Minneapolis, Minnesota: The interior of a burning liquor store not far from the police station
Minneapolis, Minnesota: Protesters stand on a barricade in front of the police building which was set on fire last night
Minneapolis, Minnesota: Protesters gather in front of the police building with all thought of social distancing forgotten, although some are wearing masks
Minneapolis, Minnesota: Protesters demonstrate outside of a burning fast food restaurant in the early hours of Friday morning on the third night of rioting in Minneapolis
Minneapolis, Minnesota: Gas lines have been cut and ‘other explosive materials are in the building’, sparking fears the building could explode
Minneapolis, Minnesota: Protesters were seen smashing the windows and doors as they broke into the police precinct at around 10p.m. local time
Minneapolis, Minnesota: Protesters stand in front of the burning precinct after officers fled the scene
‘They told me they want peace in Minneapolis, but they know that Black people want peace in their souls and that
Prosecutors warn there is ‘evidence that does not support criminal charge’ in case of four cops accused of killing George Floyd as they say police can use a ‘certain amount of force – but not excessive’
Prosecutors have warned there is ‘evidence that does not support criminal charges’ in the case of four cops accused of killing George Floyd, as they say police can use a ‘certain amount of force – but not excessive’.
At a press conference Thursday, Mike Freeman, county attorney for Hennepin County, condemned the actions of white cop Derek Chauvin as ‘horrific and terrible’, but said prosecutors needed to determine if he used ‘excessive’ force when he knelt on the black man’s neck for eight minutes until he passed out and later died.
‘That video is graphic and horrific and terrible and no person should do that,’ he said.
‘But my job in the end is to prove he violated a criminal statute – but there is other evidence that does not support a criminal charge.’
Freeman pleaded for patience from the Minneapolis community ravaged by Floyd’s death as he warned that the investigation ‘can’t be rushed’ for fear of a repeat of the Freddie Gray case in 2015 where all charges were dropped against cops involved in the black man’s death.
Mike Freeman, county attorney for Hennepin County, and US Attorney for the District of Minnesota Erica MacDonald dashed hopes that an arrest had been made over the death of the 46-year-old father of two in a press conference Thursday
Police officers are allowed to use reasonable force on citizens to restrain them during arrest but the force cannot be ‘excessive’.
Prosecutors must now prove that this force was ‘excessive’ in order to bring criminal charges against Chauvin.
Outrage is building across the nation over how pinning Floyd down by his neck as he gasps for breathe and begs the cop to stop could ever be considered ‘reasonable’.
Freeman did not provide any detail over what the ‘other evidence’ could be that provides a defense for Chauvin’s actions but said his office now had to ‘wade through’ it before charges can be brought.
‘My business is ‘is it criminal?’ and that’s what we have to prove,’ he said.
Freeman said he understood that people want swift action but assured the public that ‘we just can’t rush this’.
He compared the case to the death of 25-year-old Gray in Baltimore in 2015, where Gray fell into a coma and died of a spinal cord injury while in a police van.
Six Baltimore police officers were suspended with pay but all charges were dropped against them and no one was charged.
‘It was a rush to charge and a rush to justice and all those people were found not guilty,’ he said.
Freeman warned that history could repeat itself with the Floyd case if the investigation is rushed.
‘We have to do this right, we have to prove it in a court of law,’ he said.
‘We can’t rush justice as justice cant be rushed.’
His comments came as authorities dashed hopes that an arrest had been made over the death of the 46-year-old father of two when they called a press conference to announce a development in the investigation Thursday only to leave attendees waiting two hours before finally announcing they had no new developments to share.
‘We thought we would have another development to tell you about… but we don’t,’ admitted US Attorney for the District of Minnesota Erica MacDonald.