MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Hundreds of mostly peaceful protesters took to the streets of Minneapolis Wednesday night following the release of former police officer Derek Chauvin, who is charged in the death of George Floyd.
The protest began at about 6:30 p.m. at the site of Floyd’s death, on East 38th Street and Chicago Avenue in Minneapolis. Some demonstrators moved to the Minneapolis Police Department’s 5th Precinct building off of 31st Street and Nicollet Avenue, where only about 100 protesters remained by late Wednesday night.
As protesters began to grow more aggressive, Minnesota State Patrol troopers began to order them to leave the area at about 10:30 p.m. Law enforcement then arrested several people.
— Dymanh Chhoun (@Dymanh) October 8, 2020
Gov. Tim Walz and Mayor Jacob Frey activated a number of Minnesota National Guard troops late Wednesday afternoon, with Walz saying the move was made, “Out of an abundance of caution for the safety of Minnesotans.”
In all, 100 soldiers were mobilized to support public safety services. Additionally, another 100 Minnesota State Patrol troopers were also mobilized, along with 75 conservation officers with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.
Chauvin, the man facing the most serious charges in the death of George Floyd, was released from Hennepin County Jail Wednesday morning after posting $1 million conditional bond. Before that, he was being held at the Oak Park Heights correctional facility.
This comes more than four months after Chauvin was seen on video with his knee on Floyd’s neck for nearly eight minutes. Floyd’s death sparked unrest in Minnesota, in the United States and all around the world.
WCCO APP: Click here to download WCCO’s new news app.
Word spread quickly about the release of Chauvin from custody. While many people expressed their anger, others are trying to redirect it to places where people can heal and learn how to continue the fight for justice.
The Minneapolis Police Department issued a statement Wednesday afternoon:
“We are aware of current and future possible flashpoints that present challenges on both a local and national level. We are, and will, continue to work with our law enforcement partners, locally, regionally and federally in order to properly respond to situations as they unfold.
“We continue to work with our various communities to ensure our residents’ First Amendment rights to lawfully and peacefully protest are protected while maintaining public safety for all.”