Mayhem in Minneapolis: protests, looting, fires

Two men who declined to give their names said they supported the protest but not looting. They said they aimed to protect a tobacco store. Photo by Max Nesterak/Minnesota Reformer.

Peaceful demonstrations against the police for the killing of an unarmed Black man turned to looting and fires Wednesday, as Target, Aldi, Autozone and Cub Foods on Lake Street were all ransacked in a scene of mayhem.

For the second day, demonstrators came out to protest the death of George Floyd, who died in police custody Monday; in a widely shared video, Officer Derek Chauvin could be seen with his knee in Floyd’s neck just before his death.

The chaos took place in two theaters. At the Minneapolis Police Department’s 3rd Precinct, demonstrators barricaded themselves behind Target carts and threw objects at the precinct, while police returned fire with tear gas and rubber bullets.

Meanwhile, further east, looters took advantage of the lack of police presence, breaking into stores and setting fires.

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Max Nesterak
Max Nesterak is a reporter for the Reformer focusing on labor and housing. Most recently he was an associate producer for Minnesota Public Radio after a stint at NPR. He also co-founded the Behavioral Scientist and was a Fulbright Scholar to Berlin, Germany.
Ricardo Lopez
Ricardo Lopez is the senior political reporter for the Reformer. Ricardo is not new to Minnesota politics, previously reporting on the Dayton administration and statehouse for The Star Tribune from 2014 to 2017, and the Republican National Convention in 2016. Previously, he was a staff writer at The Los Angeles Times covering the California economy. He's a Las Vegas native who has adopted Minnesota as his home state. In his spare time, he likes to run, cook and volunteer with Save-a-Bull, a Minneapolis dog rescue group.