Minneapolis Police Precinct Set Ablaze During George Floyd Protests

"Any difficulty and we will assume control but, when the looting starts, the shooting starts," Donald Trump tweeted in response to the protests.

Police station

Image via Getty/Jordan Strowder/Anadolu Agency

Police station

A Minneapolis police precinct was set ablaze Thursday night, as tensions continued to escalate over the police killing of George Floyd.

The New York Times reports demonstrators managed to breach the Police Department's 3rd Precinct, the base of the four officers who were involved in Floyd's recent death. Video and photos posted on social media appear to show demonstrators overrunning the station before it was set on fire.

They’ve breached the #3rdPrecinct in #minneapolisriots pic.twitter.com/t4IhgTko6m

— James Russo (@JamesRusso2d3d) May 29, 2020

INSANE FOOTAGE FROM INSIDE POLICE 3RD PRECINCT IN MINNEAPOLIS. RIOTERS HAVE BROKEN IN AND SET ON FIRE. #looting #riots #BlackLivesMatter #minneapolisriots #Minneapolis #GeorgeFloyd #StPaul pic.twitter.com/iRmtyK5Qqe

— Chairman (@WSBChairman) May 29, 2020

MPD spokesman John Elder told NBC News that police and department personnel evacuated the building around 10 p.m. local time, right before civilians forcibly entered the station and "ignited several fires." It's unclear if anyone was injured during the incident.

BREAKING: During a protest in the wake of the fatal arrest of George Floyd, a fire has broken out at a Minneapolis police station.

Coverage now live on @MSNBC. pic.twitter.com/WDVNMSUwza

— 11th Hour (@11thHour) May 29, 2020

Police Third Precinct on Fire in Minneapolis. #GeorgeFloyd pic.twitter.com/lwGzvLAkaU

— Sara Sidner (@sarasidnerCNN) May 29, 2020

Here’s a look at that fire. Still gathering more info. pic.twitter.com/MYpkAWf8XI

— Seth Kaplan 🍔 (@Seth_Kaplan) May 29, 2020

The breach occurred during the third night of protest and unrest in Minneapolis, where a white officer was filmed kneeling on Floyd's neck during an attempted arrest. The 46-year-old unarmed black man was seen face down on the ground, shouting to the officer, "Please, I can't breathe," before he appeared to lose consciousness. Floyd was transported to the hospital shortly after and pronounced dead.

Protests have since broken out across country, with demonstrators demanding justice for Floyd. The officers involved in the killing have been terminated; however, Minnesota officials have yet to determine if criminal charges will be pursued.

Though authorities and political figures have urged residents to avoid violence, Minneapolis has experienced two nights of looting and riots. Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz has activated the state's National Guard "to help protect Minnesotans." The National Guard confirmed Thursday night that 500 soldiers had been sent to St. Paul and surrounding areas.

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.

— Minnesota National Guard (@MNNationalGuard) May 29, 2020
We are here with the Minneapolis Fire Department ready to assist so they can safely do their mission. pic.twitter.com/FjsCJ5B8d0

Donald Trump also commented on the events, calling protesters "thugs" and saying he spoke to Governor Walz. He went on to say "when the looting starts, the shooting starts."

....These THUGS are dishonoring the memory of George Floyd, and I won’t let that happen. 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!

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