Minneapolis police officers appear to abandon Third Precinct building
Rioters set fires as violence grips Minneapolis for second night in response to George Floyd's death in police custody; Mike Tobin reports.

Minneapolis mayor calls for unity, denounces violent protests, looting


Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey early Friday called on the community to come together after protesters decrying the police-custody death of George Floyd set a local police precinct on fire.

“We ... need help from our community,” Frey said in a 1 a.m. news conference, according to FOX 9 in Minneapolis-St. Paul. “We need to make sure that people are looking out for our city right now. It’s not just enough to do the right thing yourself. We need to be making sure that all of us are held accountable, to make sure that we’re holding up the highest ideals that we stand by.”

Protesters gathered in Minneapolis for the third straight night Thursday to demonstrate against the death of Floyd, a restrained black man who died after a white police officer knelt on his neck for nearly eight minutes.


Widespread looting, vandalism and arson were also witnessed throughout the city, with similar unrest in neighboring St. Paul, the state capital.

Frey acknowledged the enormous amount of “pain and anger” in the city but spoke out against destruction.

“What we have seen over the past several hours and the past couple of nights in terms of looting is unacceptable. Our communities cannot and will not tolerate it," he said. "These are businesses, these are community institutions that we need.”

Frey said he ordered the evacuation of the Third Precinct after it was set on fire.

“The symbolism of the building cannot outweigh the importance of life, our officers or the public,” he said, according to FOX 9. “We could not risk serious injury to anyone. And we will continue to patrol the Third Precinct.”
Protesters demonstrate outside a burning fast food restaurant, Friday, May 29, 2020, in Minneapolis. (Associated Press)

In response to the protests, more than 500 members of the National Guard were heading to the Twin Cities region, called in by Gov. Tim Walz, the Star Tribune of Minneapolis reported.

Floyd's death has deeply shaken Minneapolis and sparked protests in cities across the U.S. Local leaders have repeatedly urged demonstrators to avoid violence.

“Please stay home. Please do not come here to protest,” St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter tweeted earlier Thursday. “Please keep the focus on George Floyd, on advancing our movement, and on preventing this from ever happening again. We can all be in that fight together."


The precinct is located only a short distance away from where Floyd died Monday. Video images showing Floyd lying in the street, with a police officer's knee against his neck, sparked outrage across the nation.

Four police officers connected to the incident were fired Tuesday -- with Hennipen County Attorney Mike Freeman considering murder charges against them.

At the request of President Trump, federal authorities are also looking into the case.


Fox News' Edmund DeMarche and Dom Calicchio contributed to this report.