False rumor about Black man’s death sparks unrest in city
Aug 27 (Reuters) – The governor of Minnesota declared a state of peacetime emergency on the city of Minneapolis after violent protests erupted on Wednesday night following the death of a Black homicide suspect who police say shot himself.
Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey imposed a curfew following what he described as mass looting of businesses, destruction of property and unrest. Authorities also said there was misinformation spread in relation to the death of the suspect.
Video posted on social media, which could not be immediately verified by Reuters, showed shots being fired and ransacking of shops.
The city has been the center of protests following the death of George Floyd, a 46-year-old African-American man, who died in May after a police officer knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes.
Floyd’s death led to broader anti-racism protests and demonstrations against police brutality across the United States.
Minneapolis police posted a surveillance video of the incident on Twitter, saying that the victim, a suspect in a homicide, committed suicide and that no weapons were fired by police.
The video shows a Black man shooting himself at the entrance of a building as a nearby group of people ran away and police approach the scene.
‘Dangerous, unlawful behavior will not be tolerated’
Minnesota governor Tim Walz declared a state of emergency in Minneapolis and said the National Guard would be deployed in the area.
“Dangerous, unlawful behavior will not be tolerated. The Minnesota National Guard and State Patrol are headed to Minneapolis to help restore order,” Walz said in a statement.
The police shooting of a Black man in the back in Kenosha, Wisconsin, on Sunday sparked three nights of unrest there that has included a wave of arson, widespread vandalism and a separate shooting that killed two people.
Police in Portland, Oregon, on Wednesday declared a demonstration near a U.S. immigration agency building as an “unlawful gathering,” ordering the crowds to disperse. A New York Times reporter tweeted that police also made arrests in the city which has been the scene of weeks of anti-racism protests and unrest.
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