US, WASHINGTON (ORDO NEWS) — Protesters set fire to a police station in Minneapolis (northern United States) on Thursday evening, during the third night of clashes against the police, at the hands of which a black man died during ‘a muscular challenge.
Thousands of people witnessed the fire in the northern parts of the city, after some of them broke down the barriers that protected the building and smashed its windows.
The police had deserted the police station, according to the police who invoked “the safety of our staff”.
The protests had previously been mostly peaceful, with crowds contained by chains of men in uniform. But there were clashes, with the looting of around thirty stores and fires as well as the use of tear gas by the police around the police station where the police officers in question work.
The parade started at the end of the afternoon, with many demonstrators wearing a mask to protect themselves from the coronavirus, while in the neighboring town of Saint Paul the police reported damage and theft. “We know there is a lot of anger. We know there are a lot of injuries. But we cannot allow some people to use it as an opportunity to commit crimes,” said the police director of this town, Todd Axtel.
Minnesota State Governor Tim Walz signed an executive order authorizing the intervention of the National Guard. Two hundred state police, as well as helicopters, are also to be dispatched.
– “Series of murders” –
George Floyd, a 46-year-old African American, died Monday night just after being arrested by police who suspected he had wanted to forge a counterfeit $ 20 bill. During the intervention, he was tackled to the ground by an officer who kept his knee on his neck for long minutes. “I can’t breathe anymore,” we hear him say on a recording of the scene that has gone viral.
President Donald Trump “was outraged when he saw the video” of this “heinous, tragic” drama, spokeswoman Kayleigh McEnany said. “He immediately took his phone” to make sure the FBI investigation was going fast, she said. “He wants justice done.”
But Twitter reported Friday for “condemning violence” a tweet from the president on the clashes, which could be interpreted as an incitement to law enforcement to use their weapons. “These VOYOUS dishonor the memory of George Floyd, and I will not let that happen. Just speak to Governor Tim Walz and tell him that the army is by his side all along. At the slightest problem, when the looting begins , the shooting begins. Thank you! “tweeted Donald Trump.
The four officers involved have been dismissed and local and federal authorities are investigating. But no charges have yet been laid, which fuel anger and frustration.
“These police officers must be arrested immediately,” said Philonise Floyd on CNN, demanding between two sobs capital punishment for those responsible for the death of her brother.
“Everyone is suffering, that’s why it all happens. I am tired of seeing black men die,” he added. “I want them [the protesters] to be peaceful but I can’t force them, it’s hard.”
Like him, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights linked to other tragedies that have rekindled racial wounds in the United States.
“This is the latest in a long line of murders of unarmed African Americans by American police” and ordinary citizens, said Michelle Bachelet in a statement. “The American authorities must take serious measures to put an end to these murders, and to ensure that justice is done when they happen.”
President ruc Recep Tayyip Erdogan denounced on the night of Thursday to Friday on Twitter “the racist and fascist approach that led to the death of George Floyd”.
– “Deficit of hope” –
The case recalls in particular the death of Eric Garner, a black man who died in 2014 in New York after being asphyxiated during his arrest by white police. He too had said “I can’t breathe”, a phrase that has become a rallying cry of the Black Lives Matter movement (“The life of blacks counts”).
Minnesota was also marked by the death in 2016 of a black motorist, Philando Castile, shot dead during a mundane police check before the eyes of his partner and a young girl.
Reverend Jesse Jackson, who arrived in Minneapolis, called for more protests, denouncing a “lynching in broad daylight” and demanding justice.
Minneapolis police chief Medaria Arradondo admitted on Thursday that there was “a lack of hope” in his city and that his teams had contributed to it.
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