Governors and mayors from various states have condemned violent protesters as unrest spread across America on Friday night.
“There is no honor in burning down your city. There is no pride in looting local businesses that have become institutions of a neighborhood. These are institutions that people are counting on, especially during a time of pandemic,” Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey said during a press conference early Saturday morning.
“This is not about George [Floyd]’s death. This is not about inequities that were real. This is about chaos being caused,” said Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz.
Thousands of protesters broke an 8 p.m. curfew imposed by the governor, storming downtown areas in Minneapolis, with some protesters looting and setting fire to stores.
One Stop and Shop store near the 5th Precinct police station was looted and burned down.
A Stop and Shop opposite the 5th Precinct police station in #Minneapolis. A fire is burning inside the back of the shop, while people are looting it. This is 10:47pm. The shop eventually burns down. pic.twitter.com/NWY8kKIHzs
— Charlotte Cuthbertson (@charlottecuthbo) May 30, 2020
The death of George Floyd, a black man in Minneapolis, has caused a national uproar.
Floyd died after a police officer knelt on his neck for several minutes while taking him into custody on Monday. The officer, Derek Chauvin, was fired on Monday and charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter on Friday.
Protests exploded in dozens of cities around the nation including Minneapolis, Louisville, Washington, New York, Atlanta, Detroit, and some other cities on Friday night with occasional looting, arson, and vandalizing.
In Georgia, Gov. Brian Kemp declared a State of Emergency in Fulton County in response to violent protests and deployed as many as 500 Georgia National Guard soldiers to Atlanta city.
At the request of Mayor @KeishaBottoms & in consultation with public safety & emergency preparedness officials, I have issued a State of Emergency for Fulton County to activate as many as 500 @GeorgiaGuard troops to protect people & property in Atlanta. (1/2)
— Governor Brian P. Kemp (@GovKemp) May 30, 2020
Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms denounced the violent protesters on Friday in an emotional speech.
“This is not a protest. This is not in the spirit of Martin Luther King Jr. This is chaos,” she said. “When you’re burning down the city, you’re burning down our community.”
She also indicated that minority business owners are most likely to be the victims of the violent protests.
“If you love this city … where more than 50 percent of the business owners in metro Atlanta are minority business owners. If you care about this city, then go home,” she said.