Police in Minneapolis, a city that has been at the center of anti-police protests since the May 25 death of George Floyd, said that the black man who shot himself was a suspect in a homicide. They said that he is believed to have committed suicide and no weapons were used by police.
Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey, a Democrat, said he requested assistance from Gov. Tim Walz to help restore the peace in the city, saying that the looting and unrest are more than the police could handle. He also requested assistance from the Minnesota National Guard.
Video footage posted online (warning: graphic) appears to show the black man shooting himself at the entrance of a building as a group of people fled and police officers approached.
Soldiers from the @MNNationalGuard 257th Military Police Company are assisting local law enforcement in protecting property and ensuring the safety of MPLS residents. We are working in coordination with the @CityMinneapolis and the @MinneapolisPD at the direction of @GovTimWalz. pic.twitter.com/0zDpylZfQS
— MN National Guard (@MNNationalGuard) August 27, 2020
“What our city needs right now is healing,” Frey said at a news conference. “We do not need more destruction. We do not need property damage. That is unacceptable in every way shape and form.”
Walz declared a state of emergency in Minneapolis, sending approximately 150 Minnesota State Patrol troopers to assist. He also deployed the National Guard.
“Minneapolis, it’s time to heal. We must rebuild and recover. Dangerous, unlawful behavior will not be tolerated. The Minnesota National Guard and State Patrol are headed to Minneapolis to help restore order. I remain in close contact with the city and every state resource stands ready to help bring peace,” said Walz, a Democrat, in a statement on Wednesday.
Medaria Arradondo, the Minneapolis Police Department’s chief, told reporters that there were a number of false rumors being spread about the man’s suicide. He was not identified.
“We had a homicide earlier this evening. And then we had someone create a self-inflicted gunshot wound and kill themselves. This was not an officer-related incident,” he said.
The Minnesota State Patrol confirmed the development, saying troopers “will assist” the Minneapolis Police Department “in dispersing crowds preventing looting, and making arrests for any violations of law.”
The unrest comes after two people were shot amid riots in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Several nights of unrest also occurred in the city after a Jacob Blake, a black man who had a warrant for his arrest for sexual assault, was shot several times by police.