Minneapolis, Minnesota (CNN) (08/28/20)— Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey announced a citywide curfew will go into effect on Thursday following a night of unrest and looting in the city.
The announcement came after two fatal shootings on Wednesday that drew large crowds downtown and resulted in property damage and potential shoplifting, authorities said.
The first came on Wednesday afternoon, when one man shot another man. Later that evening, the suspected gunman fatally shot himself as police approached him.
His suicide sparked false rumors that officers had killed him, which police said caused “significant public safety concerns.”
The turmoil prompted Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz to declare a state of emergency in the city. He also deployed the National Guard and mobilized at least 150 state troopers.
Additionally, Frey instituted an overnight curfew that expired at 6 a.m. Thursday.
“We recognize that none of this happens in a vacuum,” Frey said during a news conference on Thursday. “And it is righteous to vent that pain and anguish in the form of peaceful protest. But what happened last night was neither peaceful nor was it a form of protest that moves us forward.”
Approximately 50 people were arrested for rioting and burglary — and two officers were injured — on Wednesday night, Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo said at a briefing on Thursday.
The unrest comes on the heels of demonstrations in the U.S. over the shooting of Jacob Blake by Kenosha, Wisconsin, police.
It also comes just three months after the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis ignited a world-wide outcry against police violence and systemic racism.
“The pain that people are feeling is real,” Walz said at a news conference on Wednesday.
“The situation that was sparked again and reminds all of us of watching that eight-and-a-half minutes of George Floyd’s death, those are real,” Walz said. “Those are real emotions that are out there. But to come together and fix those issues, they’re not going to be fixed with violence or looting Target.”
Police responded to a shooting downtown around 2:10 p.m on Wednesday after a man shot another man, Minneapolis police spokesperson John Elder told CNN.
The suspected shooter and a woman who accompanied him fled the scene, and officers found the victim dead when they arrived, Elder said.
Police later located the woman and found the suspect around 6 p.m. by a downtown mall. As officers approached him, he shot and killed himself, according to Elder.
Police are still investigating what role the woman had, if any, and what transpired between the two shootings, Elder said.
The Minneapolis Police Department released a video of the man’s suicide on Wednesday to dispel rumors that officers had killed him, the department said on Twitter.
The department later removed it “due to the graphic nature and out of respect to the individual, his family, and the community,” it said in a tweet.
The two shootings attracted large crowds to the area surrounding the crime scene. Images and video posted on social media showed what appeared to be damage and looting at nearby retail stores.
An initial assessment of the downtown area found exterior damage to windows and potential shoplifting, Minneapolis Chief of Police Medaria Arradondo said at a news conference.
He said the crowd downtown varied in number but grew “close to 500 or so” people.
“Minneapolis, it’s time to heal,” Walz said in a statement. “We must rebuild and recover. Dangerous, unlawful behavior will not be tolerated.”
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