Minneapolis went up in flames on Wednesday when protests over the death of George Floyd turned violent. Drones captured the aftermath of the Minneapolis riot on Thursday morning, in which at least 16 structures went up in flames.
The fires erupted after protests turned to looting and arson on Wednesday. Much of the violence occurred along East Lake Street in the city. By Thursday morning, some structures had been completely gutted while others were still fully aflame. The buildings lost include both businesses and residences. Drones flown by NBC News and Fox 9 capture the devastation.
Meanwhile, Mayor Jacob Frey pleaded for peace in the morning. “Please, Minneapolis, we cannot let tragedy beget more tragedy,” he said in a statement. “The area along Lake has become unsafe. We are asking for your help in keeping the peace tonight.”
The trigger for the outpouring of anger was the death of George Floyd while in police custody. NBC News reports that police originally approached Floyd over a call about a forgery at a nearby store. While in custody, Floyd was held down by four officers. Video shows one of them placing his knee on the handcuffed Floyd while on the ground for about eight minutes. In the video, you can hear Floyd pleading with officer Derek Chauvin, “Please, please, please, I can’t breathe.”
The four officers have been fired, and an investigation is underway.