A peaceful demonstration against police violence descended into chaos as protesters marched in Minneapolis one day after an officer was accused of killing an unarmed Black man by kneeling on his neck while he was face-down on a city street. Members of the Minneapolis Police Department in riot gear greeted protesters with mace, tear gas and rubber bullets despite having seen four officers get fired for their role in the what critics have called the “murder” of George Floyd, whose death was recorded by bystanders warning cops they were going to kill him.
The Memorial Day police killing prompted hundreds if not more than 1,000 protesters to flock Tuesday afternoon around the intersection where Floyd, 46, was killed. They first gathered outside the Cup Foods store on Chicago Avenue and East 38th Street where the brazen killing took place before marching towards the police department’s 3rd Precinct, where the fired officers are believed to have worked. The protest ran well into the early hours of Wednesday morning.
That included the apparent lead vigilante cop, Derek Chauvin, who could be seen steadily applying pressure to Floyd’s neck while he was handcuffed and not fazed at all by the witnesses recording him killing a handcuffed man begging for his life. Chauvin and three other Minneapolis cops were fired on Tuesday.
Multiple people were shown apparently being hit by rubber bullets fired by the police, including one woman who appeared to have been shot in the head or face by one of the non-lethal projectiles.
There were reports of vandalism and looting by purported protesters, though it was not clear who the alleged culprits were. There was also a report on the police scanner that someone was riding around shooting a BB gun at police. That seemed to give police the green light to go on the offense.
Aside from shooting rubber bullets and macing protesters, cops also fired off tear gas at the crowd.
Protesters vowed to keep his Floyd’s alive in an effort to achieve legal and social justice in the Minneapolis area’s latest high-profile police killing of a Black person.
Signs and chants of “Black Lives Matter” could be seen and heard as aerial shots of the protest showed just how massive the demonstration actually was.
Chance The Rapper even made an appearance at a protest in Chicago and addressed the crowd with some words of frustration from seeing yet another unarmed Black man killed by police.
But the cops apparently didn’t listen to Chance The Rapper’s words and instead put on their tactical gear to confront protesters with weapons that are supposed to be non-lethal but certainly not non-violent. Images of people getting mace sprayed in their faces by police and having tear gas thrown at them and rubber bullets shot at them were all over social media. Photo agency Getty Images was also on the scene to document the protest that assembled in peace as a reaction to police violence only for cops to apparently incite more violence at the demonstration.
Scroll down for more moving images and video footage from the protest and to see the extent of the violent police response to the unnecessary and preventable police death of Floyd for the nonviolent alleged offense of forgery.
2 blocks from my childhood home: Murderous @MinneapolisPD has disproportionately vulnerable black and brown ppl out here protesting despite COVID-19 bc they murdered #GeorgeFloyd pic.twitter.com/kYXtJOpX1k— Makeena (@keenadaqueena) May 26, 2020
(Video taken at 5:45pm but wouldn't upload due to service issues).— Jeff Wagner (@Jeff_Wagner4) May 26, 2020
Sound of motorcycles revving sends crowd at George Floyd protest running, many confused or scared by what's happening. Motorcyclists actually there in support of protest/march.@WCCO pic.twitter.com/yXJpKQqMS5
At least several hundred people have filled the streets outside Cup Foods in Minneapolis to protest the in-custody death of George Floyd. March starting now. pic.twitter.com/Mx2k3eV0ad— Ryan Faircloth (@RyanFaircloth) May 26, 2020
Trey Pollard, man speaking in the mic, asks everyone to stay 6ft apart, asks this be a peaceful protest. He also said he and other community activists spoke directly to MPD Chief Arradondo this morning, asking them to fire all the officers involved in George Floyd's arrest.@WCCO pic.twitter.com/RUOSf7A5MS— Jeff Wagner (@Jeff_Wagner4) May 26, 2020
@chancetherapper @JaymalGreen and others are in a solidarity protest with those in Minneapolis and elsewhere over george floyd dying after a now fired minneapolis officer put his knee on his kneck for several mins. floyd can be heard saying i cant breath. @WGNNews pic.twitter.com/7tF5TygFRd— Erik Runge (@WGNErik) May 26, 2020
#BREAKING Very large protest happening right now in downtown Minneapolis in the wake of the death of George Floyd - who died after a police officer kneeled on his neck during an arrest #7News pic.twitter.com/id53cIVU5T— Mike Fahey (@michaelefahey) May 26, 2020
Our stream is now stable from Minneapolis protest about yesterday’s police killing of George Floyd. Watch with us on periscope: https://t.co/SoTevRycPu— Unicorn Riot (@UR_Ninja) May 26, 2020
Huge protests in Minneapolis right now in response to the murder of George Floyd by the Minneapolis Police Dept. pic.twitter.com/zsy1yg5t5F— Brennan Murphy (@brenonade) May 26, 2020
Crowds are building at 38th and Chicago, as anger continues to grow over the death of George Floyd. Organizers planned a 5 p.m. demonstration but people have been here for hours already. @kare11 pic.twitter.com/ws7Uuf7CDq— Danny Spewak (@DannySpewak) May 26, 2020
Estimated more than 1,000 people on the street at 38th and Chicago Ave in Minneapolis right now. pic.twitter.com/f6Tds6Nn0r— bengarvin (@bengarvin) May 26, 2020
Protesters are now gathering & have blocked an intersection near the site where George Floyd died after being detained until death by the four Minneapolis police officers that have since been fired.— ∼Marietta (@MariettaDaviz) May 26, 2020
George begged for his mom right before he died.💔#RIPGeorgeFloyd#icantbreathe pic.twitter.com/4yMoXu7nKl
Protest underway here in Minneapolis after a man died while pinned to the ground by a Minneapolis Police officer. pic.twitter.com/teUkCXDVUp— George Mallet (@georgemallet) May 26, 2020