MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — At about 1:30 a.m. Friday, Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey addressed a city that was battling multiple fires as protests against the death of George Floyd descended into violence once again, at a scale larger than either of the days that came before it.

“Brick and mortar is not as important as life,” Frey said. “The symbolism of a building cannot outweigh the significance of life.”

Frey said that “we are going to be united as a city,” and told the press that he was the one who made the decision, ultimately, to have Minneapolis police officers withdraw from the 3rd Precinct building, citing the danger to both the officers inside the building as well as the public at large.

It was at 10 p.m. that officers withdrew from the precinct as rioters stormed in and set the building on fire. WCCO’s Jennifer Mayerle said her sources told her that there were discussions about ultimately abandoning the building as early in the day as noon.

“There a lot of pain and anger right now in our city. I understand that, our entire city recognizes that. What we have seen over the past several hours and the past couple of nights in terms of looting is unacceptable,” Frey said. “These are businesses, these are community institutions that we need. These are banks that people rely on to get cash, grocery stores that people rely on to get food, pharmacies that people rely on to get medicine … and we need to make sure that they are protected.”

Frey added that the responsibility is also one the whole community shares.

“We additionally need our help from our community. We need to make sure people are looking out for our city right now. We all need to make sure we are standing up for our highest ideals,” Frey said.

Frey also addressed tweets that President Donald Trump posted earlier in the evening, in which he called Frey a “very weak Radical Left Mayor,” and said he would send the National Guard in to “get the job done right.”

“Weakness is pointing the finger at someone else during a time of crisis. Donald J. Trump knows nothing about the strength of Minneapolis. We are strong as hell, and you better be damn sure we’re going to get through this,” Frey responded.

As of 2:30 a.m., it appeared that Twitter had flagged the second tweet in the string, in which Trump said “when the looting starts, the shooting starts” for violating Twitter’s guidelines.

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