Minneapolis police station set on fire amid protests over killing of George Floydby James Cox
A police station in Minneapolis was set on fire on Thursday evening as protests over the killing of George Floyd continued for a third day.
Protesters targeted the police department's 3rd Precinct, the base of four officers who were fired after Floyd's death in their custody on Monday.
A distressing video of the incident has gone viral across the world, in it a police officer pins Floyd down by his neck as the unarmed black man pleads, 'please, I can't breathe' and 'don't kill me'.
Minneapolis police spokesman John Elder said the 3rd Precinct station was evacuated at 10pm on Thursday after protesters got inside before lighting "several fires".
The city of Minneapolis on Twitter urged people to "retreat" from the area for their own safety.
"We're hearing unconfirmed reports that gas lines to the Third Precinct have been cut and other explosive materials are in the building."
No serious injuries have been reported as a result of the incident.
Meanwhile, the Minnesota National Guard said 500 soldiers had been activated for duty in the 'Twin Cities' of Minneapolis and Saint Paul.
Businesses in the area boarded up their windows and closed early as the protests raged late into the evening, with fires reported in some areas other than the 3rd Precinct.
The FBI is currently conducting an investigation into Floyd's death.
US President Donald Trump took aim at Minneapolis mayor Jacob Frey and labelled demonstrators 'thugs'.
He tweeted: "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.
"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!"