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What Minneapolis Police Officers Encountered When the BLM Riots First Broke Out

AP Photo/John Minchillo

Current and former members of the Minneapolis Police Department revealed in exclusive interviews to Townhall just how unprepared the city was in the aftermath of the death of George Floyd while he was in the custody of former officer Derek Chauvin two years ago.

In exclusive interviews with Townhall, officers tell how the planning from higher-ups was non-existent, and even the first time they encountered rioters, they did not have protective gear.

Officer One: "I remember I went to work overtime because my sergeant called me saying, 'Yeah, why don't you come in. They're looking for people to standby, and we do hundreds of these, and we standby somewhere and collect overtime, and nothing would ever happen.' We got over there, sat. We were sitting at the 5th Precinct, just kind of listening to it on the radio. I don't know what happened or what led to it, but some 3rd Precinct cops got stuck in the middle of the crowd, and they were getting surrounded, and they were calling, 'We need help.' We all spun up and 'Oh sh*t, we got to get them out of there.' We formed a convoy of vehicles, drove down in there, and I remember getting out of my squad car after we got into the heart of the crowd...and I didn't have a helmet on or any protective gear...I just remember thinking it was a wave of angry people. 

I got out of the car and thought, 'Oh sh*t!' and right away, stuff started getting thrown at us, hitting our squad. I tried to see both sides, where my partners, where our line was, because I did not want to be separated. I heard on the radio they got the guys out. They were like, 'Okay, we need to get out of here in a semi-orderly fashion.' And then people were screaming on the radio, 'Get out! Get out! Get out!' Things that were getting thrown at us, they were upping what they were throwing, rocks and frozen water bottles. We got in our squad, and I think we drove out backward because there was nowhere to go."

Officer Two: "All of sudden, a call for an officer who needs help came out in that area. We rolled up there, and we had no idea what we were rolling into. I knew the video looked bad, but I didn't know how bad it was gonna turn out there. We couldn't get close; we were probably a block away from the squad car that needed help. They were completely surrounded. People were smashing their windows, threatening to kill them. We had to park our squad to get on foot. None of us had our riot gear on. We got out in just our normal police uniform. I've been part of civil unrest before with the Jamar Clark case...In my mind, I was going into it like a Jamar Clark thing where there are people organized and they're peacefully protesting. 

When I opened my squad door, I almost got hit in the head with a frozen water bottle, just thrown right at me. Immediately, I'm like this is a completely hostile crowd. It's not the Jamar Clark days, like this is something new and different I've never experienced in my police career. We were pushing everyone aside, going down the block, and we get to the squad car. The windows are broken, and they're completely surrounded. We were getting stuff thrown at us the entire time. We had to push everyone back to get that squad out of there. We got to our squad, and people were coming up to our windows, we were trying to get out of the area, with skateboards and smashing out the windows of our squad. It made me very angry. I wish I could've gotten out and grabbed them, but we were so outnumbered we had no choice but to retreat."

Officer Four: "We were basically sitting around. I didn't know we were being deployed for riots that Monday. We're sitting around the office at like one or two, and we're getting texts from people like this is big. We were asking, 'Are we doing something? What's the deal?' All of sudden, our sergeant tells us we're getting a briefing. We showed up to the briefing room, and there were teams from all over the city...Someone had their radio on, and there was a call that officers were getting surrounded in their patrol car, and they needed to be recused.

There was no plan to go out and rescue those officers without any safety brief. We were supposed to go in one big convoy, but half the briefing went north, and the other half went south. It was wild. The way I explain it, like it was a parade where everyone wants to attack you and kill you. We turn that corner, the streets were packed like a parade. People were on their roofs, on their balconies, and just going wild. We were getting all sorts of sh*t thrown at us. There were gunshots going off. I'll never forget the squad in front of us, their back window exploded. I was like, 'Holy sh*t, they can't do that; we're the cops,' was my first reaction. If only I knew what the next couple of days would entail. We got the officers out, and we were all in shock. We went out of there, and it looked like our cars had been through a war zone. There had been squads that had been shot, all the windows are busted out."

Read Townhall's first exclusive article with Minneapolis law enforcement here.

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