Angry protesters lit fires, looted stores and taunted cops in Minneapolis Thursday after officers shot and killed a man — who was a fugitive who whipped out a handgun when authorities closed in on him.
Members of a U.S. Marshals task force were attempting to arrest the unidentified man at around 2 p.m. on a state warrant for being a felon in possession of a firearm, authorities said.
“During the incident, the subject, who was in a parked car, failed to comply and produced a handgun resulting in task force members firing upon the subject,” Hennepin County Sheriff’s Department, which was part of the task force involved in the fatal arrest, said in a statement.
Officers attempted to revive the man but he was declared dead by paramedics on the scene. A woman who was in the car with the suspect sustained minor injuries from shattered glass, the statement said.
Several law enforcement agencies had been involved in the arrest, including local sheriff’s offices as well as the federal Department of Homeland Security, but not Minneapolis police, the Star Tribune said.
Still, protesters shouted insults and anti-cop slogans at Minneapolis police, whose officers were deployed to provide perimeter support, the paper said.
It was not clear if the bust was tied to scanner reports about a man who was wanted for murder, the Tribune added. The race of neither the suspect nor the officers was mentioned in the statement.
But the shooting quickly intensified angry protests already raging over the dismantling of George Floyd Square even before any real details of the shooting emerged — with videos showing several large fires burning in the street.
Police fired flash bangs, and numerous buildings were vandalized and stores looted, police confirmed to KTSP.
“Stop burning s–t!” one infuriated woman told people standing staring at one of the fires, caught in a video by local journalist Rebecca Brannon.
Protest group organizers admitted that they were responding even when they didn’t “know anything” about the shooting.
“We understand the anger and ire when we see these police shootings,” Pharoah Merritt of crime prevention group We Push for Peace told the local paper.
The protests were around 3 miles from where George Floyd was murdered by ex-cop Derek Chauvin in May last year — with local stores still boarded up from other riots since then, the local paper noted.
Protesters had already been out in force in anger at city workers finally dismantling the so-called “autonomous zone” that had blocked off traffic for a year at the site where Floyd was murdered.
As soon as workers removed concrete barriers and parts of the memorial blocking the street, around 150 protesters there started parking cars and piling pallets in the streets again, the Star Tribune said.
Many remained discussing future plans, with the crowd dwindling after news came of the shooting, reports said.
Mayor Jacob Frey said “it will be a bit touch and go and difficult over the next several days” as the city tries to enforce the new area, which will still keep the several-foot-tall statue of a raised fist.
The officers in the latest police shooting were all put on administrative leave. The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension will lead the investigation.
With Post wires