By David Schuman

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Law enforcement is ready for any violence Friday night as the curfews in the Twin Cities have been lifted.

The same visible presence as Thursday though is not expected.

Some people arrested during Wednesday night’s looting were released Friday, met by advocates who greeted them with snacks and a number to call for legal help.

Andrew Walker says he was picked up that night for stealing from a Walgreens.

“There was commotion, people running everywhere, police everywhere,” he said. “I started looting with everybody else.”

Walker says he wasn’t charged, but he was found to be in violation of probation for a previous crime.

“I feel blessed to be out,” he said. “I didn’t think I was going to get out of jail, but I’m standing here right now.”

Sixteen people were charged in connection to the unrest, including three men who police say burglarized The Saloon near 9th and Hennepin.

The damaged bar was up and running Friday.

“We were able to repair and replace almost everything right away,” said Bobby Palmer, an assistant manager at The Saloon. “It’s always about our community. We had an army of people who showed up right at 8 a.m. in the morning helping to clean up and get us set up.”

Around 100 people were arrested Thursday for breaking the curfew, but the presence of National Guard played a part in preventing violence.

The MAD DADS outreach group also made their presence known, helping people get on buses to go home as well as breaking up fights.

They were out again Friday.

“There’s mixed emotions right now with everybody, and MAD DADS is a very important piece to this puzzle being a buffer to our public and the police,” said Coy Lehn, a member of the group.

The National Guard remains mobilized Friday as well.

On Wednesday, there were 132 people arrested – with more charges expected beyond the 16 reported so far.

David Schuman

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