President Donald Trump has threatened to use force against angry protesters demanding justice over the killing of African-American, George Floyd, who was killed by a white Minneapolis officer.
The angry protesters continued the overnight protest for the third night setting fire on the Minneapolis third precinct as officers were forced to flee.
More than 170 businesses damaged or looted with dozens of fires, according to the Saint Paul Police Department.
Expressing his anger at the protesters, Trump labelled the protesters as thugs, saying they are dishonouring the memory of Floyd.
He urged the Minneapolis Mayor, Jacob Frey, to control the protesters or he would order the use of lethal force against them.
“I can’t stand back and watch this happen to a great American city, Minneapolis… a total lack of leadership. Either the very weak radical left Mayor, Jacob Frey, get his act together and bring the city under control, or
I will send in the National Guard and get the job done right.
“These thugs are dishonouring the memory of George Floyd, and I won’t let that happen. I just spoke to Governor Tim Walz and told him that the military is with him all the way. Any difficulty and we will assume control but, when the looting starts, the shooting starts. Thank you,” Trump tweeted.
I canât stand back & watch this happen to a great American City, Minneapolis. A total lack of leadership. Either the very weak Radical Left Mayor, Jacob Frey, get his act together and bring the City under control, or I will send in the National Guard & get the job done right.....— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 29, 2020
The National Guard confirmed their presence at Minneapolis as they said they were ready to escort the Minneapolis Fire Department to ensure a smooth operation.
“We have activated more than 500 soldiers to St. Paul, Minneapolis and surrounding communities. Our mission is to protect life, preserve property and the right to peacefully demonstrate. A key objective is to ensure fire departments can respond to calls,” said the National Guard at Minneapolis.
We have activated more than 500 soldiers to St. Paul, Minneapolis and surrounding communities. Our mission is to protect life, preserve property and the right to peacefully demonstrate. A key objective is to ensure fire departments are able to respond to calls.— MN National Guard (@MNNationalGuard) May 29, 2020
Meanwhile, the police precinct in Minnesota went up in flames as officers abandoned the station.
The protesters pushed through barriers around the building, breaking windows and chanting slogans.
Minneapolis Fire Chief, John Fruetel, told a local television station that firefighters had been staged about one mile from the precinct and were waiting for the area to become safe before they moved in to fight the fire.
“It is 100% a safety issue. There have been projectiles thrown at us, we’ve had rocks and bottles thrown at us the last couple of nights,” he said.
"Shortly after 10:00 pm tonight, in the interest of the safety of our personnel, the Minneapolis Police Department evacuated the 3rd Precinct of its staff," city police said in a statement later.