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Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin in custody after death of George Floyd

Friday May 29, 2020

Minnesota Department of Public Safety Commissioner John Harrington said he just received information that the officer identified as Derek Chauvin in the death of George Floyd has been taken into custody by the Bureau of Criminal Apprehenson.

There was no more information on charging, because that's in the jurisdiction of the Hennepin County Attorney, Harrington said.

County Attorney Mike Freeman announced a news conference for 1 p.m. Friday at the Ridgedale Public Library to announce a "major development" in the case.

Harrington only mentioned that one officer had been arrested; no word yet on the other three Minneapolis police officers who have been fired.

This has been a breaking news update.

A somber Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz vowed to restore order Friday after a third night of protests and violence in response to George Floyd’s death in police custody led to the breach and destruction of a Minneapolis police precinct and dozens of other buildings across the city.

“What the world has witnessed since the killing of George Floyd on Monday has been a visceral pain, a community trying to understand who we are and where we go from here,” he said. “We have to restore order to our society before we can start addressing the issues, before we turn back to where we should be spending our energy: making sure justice is served.”

Walz, who activated the National Guard on Thursday to respond to the unrest, acknowledged that the rampage that left hundreds of stores looted and a major Minneapolis police precinct house torched was “one of our darkest chapters.” He also called authorities’ inability to control the widespread fires and vandalism Thursday night “an abject failure.”

He also publicly apologized to CNN President Jeff Zucker for the arrests of a television crew that had been covering the protests on Lake Street early Friday. Walz said he spoke to Zucker and immediately intervened to release the journalists, who were arrested on live television. “I take full responsibility,” Walz said, adding that the TV crew’s detention by State Patrol had been “inexcusable.”

Jon Jensen, Adjutant General of the Minnesota National Guard, said there was a lack of clarity on the “mission” of the Guard in responding to the protests ahead of time. He had some concerns before were even dispatched. “We never got such mission description.”

Walz and other state and city leaders were silent for much of the previous evening, leading to widespread criticism that they weren’t doing enough to respond to the fires and destruction happening across the city.

President Donald Trump weighed in, criticizing the city for a “total lack of leadership and saying he would send in the federal troops to “get the job done right.”

Walz called Trump’s remarks, including a tweet that referred to shooting looters, as “unhelpful.”

Minnesota House Minority Leader Kurt Daudt, R-Crown, raised concerns about the coming weekend. “There has been a disturbing lack of leadership and clear plan on how we’re going to prevent further chaos with the weekend approaching,” he said in a statement. “City and state leaders knew that there would be more looting and riots last night, but took no visible steps to prevent the destruction.”

Republican Party Chair Jennifer Carnahan said “Minneapolis is in a state of disorder.” “It’s traumatizing and scary and sad and depressing and devastating,” she said. “Our leaders @GovTimWalz and Mayor Frey have disappeared. How long will it take to undo this damage?”

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey held a news conference shortly after 1 a.m. and said the decision to evacuate the 3rd Police Precinct in Minneapolis was his to protect the lives of officers and protesters.

“This is one of the most difficult situations that our city has been through,” he said. “I’m not going to stand up here to tell you that there are easy answers to it.”

Democratic leaders in the Legislature, however, expressed frustration about a news conference called Thursday afternoon by U.S. Attorney Erica MacDonald and Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman, where they promised a “robust” investigation but did not announce any charges.

“The county attorney needs to file charges and the officers must be arrested as soon as possible, House Majority Leader Ryan Winkler tweeted. “The case must be won, and legal standards met in order to get a conviction, but we need to have a clear statement that a murder trial is coming. Now.”

State Public Safety Commissioner John Harrington called Floyd’s death at the hands of police a “murder” during a morning press conference with the governor. “That’s what it looked like to me.”


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