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Ex-Minneapolis Police Officer Arrested In Connection With George Floyd’s Death
State Patrol Police officers block a road on the fourth day of protests on May 29, 2020 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Protesters demand justice for George Floyd who died in police custody. - Five hundred National Guard soldiers and airmen have been deployed in the northern US cities of Minnesota and St. Paul after three nights of violent protests over the police killing of a black man, the force said Friday. "Our troops are trained to protect life, preserve property and ensure people's right to peacefully demonstrate," said Major General Jon Jensen of the Minnesota National Guard. (Photo by Kerem Yucel / AFP) (Photo by KEREM YUCEL/AFP via Getty Images)
KEREM YUCEL/AFP via Getty Images

Police have arrested fired Minneapolis officer David Chauvin in connection with the death of George Floyd.

Minnesota Department of Public Safety Commissioner John Harrington announced Chauvin’s arrest on Friday less than a day after rioters razed the Minneapolis Police Department’s 3rd Police Precinct headquarters, according to WCCO. Chauvin, who was a 19-year veteran of the police department before his firing, was taken into custody four days after Floyd died on May 25.

Chauvin was one of several officers that responded to a call that Floyd was trying to pass counterfeit money. Video shows the officers arresting Floyd and later pinning Floyd to the ground while he is in handcuffs. Chauvin can be seen with his knee on Floyd’s neck, and Floyd can be heard begging that he “can’t breathe.”

Four officers, including Chauvin, have since been fired because of their treatment of Floyd during the arrest. After videos of the arrest began circulating online, protesters began demonstrating in Minneapolis on Tuesday. The demonstrations have spread to other cities across the country such as Los Angeles and New York City.

Some of the protesters have resorted to violent riots and looting. On Wednesday night, protesters burned an auto parts store, an affordable housing complex that was under construction, and several other buildings. Looters broke into a Target and other Minneapolis businesses, stripping the stores of most of their products.

On Thursday, the protests escalated as rioters surrounded the 3rd Police Precinct headquarters. Police had earlier set up barricades to keep protesters away from the building, though people eventually knocked them down. City Mayor Jacob Frey eventually ordered officers to evacuate the building, leaving it to be torched by rioters.

“I made the decision to evacuate the Third Precinct,” Frey said. “The symbolism of a building cannot outweigh the importance of life, of our officers or the public. Brick and mortar is not as important as life.”

In response to Thursday night’s riot, President Donald Trump threatened to take action to control the situation, placing blame on the Minneapolis mayor for letting the situation get as out-of-control as it had.

“I can’t stand back [and] watch this happen to a great American City, Minneapolis,” Trump tweeted on Friday. “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 [and] 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!”

Frey responded to Trump later in a press conference, saying, “Weakness is refusing to take responsibility for your own actions. Weakness is pointing your finger at somebody else during a time of crisis. Donald Trump knows nothing about the strength of Minneapolis. We are strong as hell.”

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