George Floyd death sparks large protests, confrontations with police

Li Cohen

Large crowds gathered Tuesday to protest at the site where a man was violently arrested the night before. George Floyd, who was black, repeatedly told a white police officer kneeling on his neck that he couldn't breathe. But despite Floyd's pleas for his life, the officer didn't let up for more than seven minutes, and Floyd died hours later. The incident was caught on video by an onlooker.

The case is drawing comparisons to the death of Eric Garner, an unarmed black man who died in a 2014 confrontation in the New York City borough of Staten Island after being placed in a chokehold by police.

People gathered on the 3700 block of Chicago Avenue, where Floyd was arrested for suspicion of forgery outside a deli. After he was taken into custody and the incident that followed, the 46-year-old was taken to Hennepin County Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead, according to CBS Minnesota.

Four police officers were fired Tuesday for their roles in the incident. The FBI is taking part in the investigation.

Protesters marched roughly two miles from the site of the arrest to the Minneapolis Police's 3rd Precinct building. According to CBS Minnesota, officers dressed in riot gear formed a barrier around the precinct, and videos show them using smoke bombs or tear gas, as well as flash grenades, against the demonstrators. 

A better look at the crowd size of the Minneapolis march for #GeorgeFloyd pic.twitter.com/u0pg0hf4bD

— Ryan Faircloth (@RyanFaircloth) May 26, 2020

My daughters who are 9 & 11 years old are with me and my partner tonight marching peacefully to advocate for justice for #GeorgeFloyd who was murdered yesterday by a Minneapolis police officer. pic.twitter.com/n9jI0Pbard

— Matt Johnson (@matthewmj) May 27, 2020

Along with videos of more peaceful protests, several videos posted on Twitter also show protesters throwing bricks and rocks at police cars, and smashing windows. CBS Minnesota reported that at least one officer has been injured. 

There was no word on any protesters being arrested.

They Going Crazy In Minneapolis Rn💯👏🏾 #ICantBreathe #GeorgeFloyd #BlackLivesMatter pic.twitter.com/6efmPeDMa1

— SOLLY THE BANKBOY🏦🐍❤️.® (@SollyBandz_) May 26, 2020

Police in riot gear confronting protester in Minneapolis tonight. Many have gathered in the streets to protest the killing of #GeorgeFloyd while he was restrained by police officers. Four officers were subsequently fired for their actions. pic.twitter.com/Jv0blCFyBB

— Frank Calhoun (@Phrygian0) May 27, 2020

Currently in Minneapolis, MN. #GeorgeFloyd pic.twitter.com/V9fJAcVHqT

— Tay Tay (@_papitayy_) May 27, 2020

One protester tweeted a video of a fellow demonstrator getting hit in the head with an apparent rubber bullet.

Andy Mannix, a Star Tribune reporter, posted updates of the events on social media as they unfolded Tuesday. He tweeted footage of people dousing each other with milk after being hit with tear gas, and many hiding behind shopping carts from a nearby Target as they continued the standoff with police. Even when it started pouring rain, hundreds could still be seen protesting.

And here are a few final photos from the melee. pic.twitter.com/6h5WHmZtqo

— Andy Mannix (@AndrewMannix) May 27, 2020

One more video from the evening. This is when police started throwing flash bangs and tear gas and advancing on protestors, some of whom has been throwing objects at the officers. pic.twitter.com/jYtUlC3GZw

— Andy Mannix (@AndrewMannix) May 27, 2020

Mannix says he was shot in the thigh with a rubber bullet while covering the protests. 

I Was just shot with this in the thigh. pic.twitter.com/igcJ3e7iQ4

— Andy Mannix (@AndrewMannix) May 27, 2020

Mannix also photographed another man who was shot twice with marker rounds, once in his torso, and the other his arm. 

Seems like most ppl are bailing. This guy wouldn't let me interview him, but he showed me two marking round hits. Those things hurt pic.twitter.com/c9UgIkJiSD

— Andy Mannix (@AndrewMannix) May 27, 2020

Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar tweeted Tuesday night that, "Shooting rubber bullets and tear gas at unarmed protesters when there are children present should never be tolerated. Ever. What is happening tonight in our city is shameful. Police need to exercise restraint, and our community needs space to heal."

Though he hasn't made any remarks since the protests began, Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey said earlier in the day that what happened to Floyd was "horrible," and "completely and utterly messed up."

"Being black in America should not be a death sentence," he posted on Twitter. "This man's life matters. He matters. ... I believe what I saw and what I saw is wrong on every level."

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