Minneapolis, Minn. — Law enforcement and the National Guard in Minneapolis came out in force on Saturday to enforce the 8:00 p.m. curfew the Twin Cities are under following days of widespread riots and outings. The unrest was sparked after video showed former Minneapolis officer Derek Chauvin putting his knee into George Floyd's neck, where he later died while still in police custody.
As the previous days had been in the city and surrounding neighborhoods, things were relatively peaceful while the sun was still out. A large crowd had gathered to protest outside Minneapolis' 5th police precinct station. Rioters had burned, graffitied, and looted the nearby Wells Fargo bank and U.S. Post Office, along with several other stores.
Alert sent to people's phones telling them about the upcoming curfew. pic.twitter.com/CtREW9N4oU— Julio Rosas (@Julio_Rosas11) May 31, 2020
Everything changed after 8:00 p.m. and many in the large crowd stayed in the area. Riot police came down the street and began to use tear gas and flashbangs to disperse the crowd. Rioters began to throw projectiles back at the officers as they got closer.
??????: Police have moved into the intersection by the 5th precinct and are forcing people out of the area by shooting tear gas and using flashbangs. Some rioters are throwing projectiles back at the cops. pic.twitter.com/1eW7yH38U8— Julio Rosas (@Julio_Rosas11) May 31, 2020
Riot police are still moving forward and using tear gas and flashbangs. pic.twitter.com/9O0Pu1ZTPF— Julio Rosas (@Julio_Rosas11) May 31, 2020
The tactics worked in pushing the crowd away from the police station, though the mob was funneled into the nearby neighborhoods.
One rioter, who appeared as some muscle for the crowd, began to harass and chase off reporters who were in the group.
??????: Some sort of riot enforcer armed with a metal pole is harassing and chasing away members of the media. He used the pole to knock a cameraman's equipment out of his hand. pic.twitter.com/xXEqvGyrLk— Julio Rosas (@Julio_Rosas11) May 31, 2020
Though most of the crowd had left, those that stayed behind continued to build makeshift barricades in the street and set them on fire in an attempt to disrupt the police line. Some people who lived nearby voiced their opposition to the tactic and asked them who was going to clean up the mess.
People in the neighborhood are getting upset at the rioters for building the barricades and making fires out in the street. One person who lives nearby was shouted at after he asked them who was going to clean up the mess. pic.twitter.com/BP8uIatcmV— Julio Rosas (@Julio_Rosas11) May 31, 2020
Throughout the neighborhoods and businesses all along Lake Street, civilians took protecting their areas from rioters and looters into their own hands and stood guard.
People have had enough of the rioters and lack of police presence in Minneapolis. As I make my way over to the 3rd precinct police station, I've encountered numerous civilians protecting their neighborhoods and businesses. pic.twitter.com/bGiVGrBFhp— Julio Rosas (@Julio_Rosas11) May 31, 2020
Saturday's enforcement of the curfew order was in stark contrast to what occurred on Friday, where law enforcement and the National Guard did not take drastic measures to force people away from the area around the 3rd police precinct station. The police line pulled away from the 3rd precinct completely, letting the area once again fall into the hands of the rioters.