The ongoing protests over the death of George Floyd took an ugly turn after the angry protesters torched the Minneapolis police station, the base of four officers fired for Floyd's death, on Thursday night. As a precautionary measure, the authorities had vacated the 3rd Precinct station, which covers the part of south Minneapolis where Floyd died, before it was set on fire.
Angered over the death of 46-year-old unarmed and handcuffed Floyd, a black man who despite pleading for help was pinned down and killed by police officer Derek Chauvin, protesters across the state erupted into violence for third straight day.
Police Building Was Prime Target of Protesters
A series of images and videos that went viral on the internet showed violent protesters setting the front facade of the police station on fire. The blaze, which spread to the interior of the station, also burned on both sides of the police station as protesters tore down the temporary fencing and occupied property at the precinct.
Speaking to NBC News, department spokesperson John Elder said that they cleared the building shortly after 10 p.m., when demonstrators forcibly entered and "ignited several fires". In their defence, the police officers fired tear gas from the ground and a roof top, reported the publication. The cheering demonstrators also burned down the Minneapolis Police Department jacket.
As a precautionary measure, Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz activated the National Guard at the Minneapolis mayor's request, on Thursday. However, it wasn't clear where the Guard will be deployed. In a tweet, the National Guard said it has activated more than 500 soldiers across the metro area.
'Killer Cop' Derek Chauvin's House Vandalized
Enraged protesters vandalized the home of Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin, who pinned down Floyd by placing his knee on his neck for nearly eight minutes. During the entire ordeal, Floyd kept saying that he was unable to breathe, but to no avail. Finally, unable to breathe, Floyd lost consciousness and died.
The angry residents wrote 'A murderer lives here' on the road outside the officer's house on Wednesday night. Dumping blood-red paint, the demonstrators wrote the word 'murderer' on his driveway. Furthermore, a sign reading 'People don't kill people, cops do' and 'ACAB 20' was erected at the edge of Chauvin's property, reported the Independent.
After the body cam video of Floyd's death went viral, the authorities fired the four police officers involved in the incident. Speaking to The Mercury News, Delyla Doshie, one of the protesters outside Chauvin's house, said: "We want justice. People have been arrested for less. There's no reason why he shouldn't be in jail right now."