On Thursday, as sections of Minneapolis burned to the ground from violent riots over the death of George Floyd, MSNBC reporter Ali Velshi, standing in front of burning buildings, assured viewers that the “protests” were mostly peaceful. Velshi did, however, note that some fires had “started.”
“I wanna be clear on how I characterize this,” said Velshi, reporting live from Minneapolis. “This is mostly a protest, it is not, it is not, generally speaking, unruly.”
“But fires have been started and this crowd is relishing that,” he told MSNBC anchor Brian Williams.
“There is a deep sense of grievance and complaint here, and that is the thing,” added Velshi. “That when you discount people who are doing things to public property that they shouldn’t be doing, it does have to be understood that this city has got, for the last several years, an issue with police, and it’s got a real sense of the deep sense of grievance of inequality.”
Earlier in the segment, Velshi said the protests were calmer during the day. “It picked up later in the evening,” he said, according to Fox News. “The crowds gathered here and the standoff with the police looked very different last night.”
Though he stressed the “mostly” peaceful nature of the response, Velshi did admit on camera that he could see “four fires,” as Fox notes, among them one engulfing a liquor store. Another of the fires was burning at the Minnesota Police Department’s 3rd Precinct headquarters, which was demolished late Thursday after the embattled Democratic mayor ordered officers to evacuate.
According to the Saint Paul Police Department, over 170 businesses had been damaged or looted by Thursday night, and “dozens of fires” had been started.
As Thursday turns to Friday, our officers continue to work shoulder-to-shoulder with local, state, federal and fire partners to protect St. Paul.
More than 170 businesses damaged or looted. Dozens of fires. Thankfully, no reports of serious injuries. Calm on the horizon.
— Saint Paul Police Department (@sppdmn) May 29, 2020
As noted by The Daily Wire, the situation in MN became so volatile, the City of Minneapolis tweeted: “We’re hearing unconfirmed reports that gas lines to the Third Precinct have been cut and other explosive materials are in the building. If you are near the building, for your safety, PLEASE RETREAT in the event the building explodes.”
We're hearing unconfirmed reports that gas lines to the Third Precinct have been cut and other explosive materials are in the building.
If you are near the building, for your safety, PLEASE RETREAT in the event the building explodes.
— City of Minneapolis (@CityMinneapolis) May 29, 2020
Floyd, who is black, died after an officer, who is white, knelt on his neck during his arrest, as shown in a video clip that has since gone viral.
“An eight-minute clip filmed by a person on the street shows Floyd telling police he can’t breathe and begging the cop on top of him to stop before he falls unconscious,” The Daily Wire reported Tuesday. “Officer Derek Chauvin was identified as the officer who knelt on Floyd’s neck outside Cup Foods on Chicago Avenue and East 38th Street.”
Since the arrest, all four officers involved have been fired, and the FBI and state law enforcement officials are actively investigating the 46-year-old’s death.
MSNBC reporter says “I want to be clear on how I characterize this. This is mostly a protest. It is not generally speaking unruly."
As a building burns in the background…
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) May 29, 2020
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