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Minneapolis police fired tear gas and bean bag rounds at thousands of demonstrators who gathered outside a police station to protest the death of George Floyd.
Simmering community anger boiled over into violence Tuesday night even after the city announced that the four officers involved had been fired. The protesters and Floyd's family and are now demanding that the officers be charged with murder.
“They treated him worse than they treat animals,” Philonise Floyd, the deceased man’s brother, told CNN on Tuesday night. “They took a life — they deserve life.”
Floyd died Monday after a police officer sat with his knee jammed into his neck for several minutes while Floyd struggled, moaned, and told the officer “I can’t breathe.” A bystander’s footage of the incident, posted to social media Monday night, sparked nationwide outrage and led to the protests Tuesday evening.
Thousands of protesters initially gathered at the location where Floyd was detained by the police and marched peacefully to the Minneapolis Police Department's 3rd precinct. There, the peaceful march descended into chaos as protesters and riot police clashed.
Protesters broke the glass front door of the station and defaced the building and police vehicles with graffiti.
Some protesters climbed on top of the building while others threw bottles and rocks at police officers in riot gear.
The police responded by firing tear gas, rubber bullets, and flashbangs at protesters.
Andy Mannix, a reporter with the Minneapolis-based Star Tribune, tweeted that he had been hit in the thigh with a rubber bullet.
Minneapolis Police Department spokesman John Elder did not immediately respond to questions on Wednesday morning about whether anyone was arrested or injured during the protest.
The department said in a statement Tuesday that after Floyd got out of the car he was sitting in, “he physically resisted officers” before they handcuffed him. However, CCTV footage of the arrest obtained by ABC suggests this was not the case.
The four officers, who have not been formally identified, are cooperating with the investigation into Floyd’s death, according to the Police Officers Federation of Minneapolis.
“Our officers are fully cooperating,” the union head, Lt. Bob Kroll, told local media. “We must review all video. We must wait for the medical examiner’s report.”
Hennepin County officials have said it could take at least three weeks to determine exactly how Floyd died.
Cover: Milk drains from the face of a protester who had been exposed to percussion grenades and tear gas outside the Minneapolis Police 3rd Precinct on Tuesday, May 26, 2020, in Minneapolis. (Carlos Gonzalez/Star Tribune via AP)