Angry crowds gathered nationwide to seek justice after George Floyd’s death following his arrest on Monday for a counterfeit bill. Indignation grew after a video showing a Minneapolis police officer kneeling on the neck during the arrest appeared. He was unarmed and handcuffed and cried that he could not breathe before he died later.
In Minneapolis, buildings were burnt down, shops ransacked, and a police district was set on fire on Thursday evening. Smoke and orange flames filled the night sky as people gathered nearby and shot videos on their phones.
The Minneapolis police department fired the four officers involved in Floyd’s arrest.
The incident was investigated by local, state and federal authorities and prosecutors urged residents to be patient.
“We have to pass all these tests and make a meaningful decision and we are doing it to the best of our ability,” said Hennepin County Attorney Michael Freeman.
Federal Prosecutor Erica MacDonald told reporters that the priority is to ensure justice.
“We will examine it with the utmost speed and accuracy of justice,” said Freeman. “That video is graphic, horrible and terrible. And nobody should do it. I ask people to stay calm and let us conduct this investigation.”
All four officials involved in the death invoked their fifth amendment precisely against self-incrimination, Freeman told CNN following the press conference.
“I am absolutely sorry for the pain, devastation and trauma that the death of Mr. Floyd has left for his family, loved ones, Minneapolis and the world,” said Minneapolis police chief Medaria Arradondo.
“I know there is currently a deficit of hope in our city … and I know that our department has contributed to that deficit as a whole.”
In Minneapolis, protests went into revolt and looting in the south of downtown, with people making their way into shops and setting businesses and other buildings ablaze. There were other looting Thursdays in St. Paul, the state capital, next door.
“I want everyone to be at peace right now, but people are torn and hurt because they are tired of seeing black men die,” said Philonise Floyd, the victim’s brother.
Protesters also gathered in other cities, including Denver and New York.
CNN’s Sara Sidner and Steve Almasy contributed to this report.
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