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Anger grows in Minneapolis on the third night of protests following the death of a black man at the hands of the Police. The protesters set fire to a police station on Thursday night and the governor has mobilized 500 National Guard personnel , whose main task is to escort the fire department so they can access the burning buildings and extinguish the fires.
Thousands of people have witnessed the fire in the police station in the north of the city after some protesters demolished the barriers that protected the building and broke the windows. Police officers were evacuated before the fire, according to authorities. "Shortly after 10pm (5.00am Spanish time), in the interest of the safety of our staff, the Minneapolis police have evacuated the police station," the body reports in a press release.
The authorities have decided to send reinforcements to Minneapolis to contain the violence after two days of clashes between the police and protesters. George Floyd's death on Monday has sparked a wave of outrage following a series of deaths in the African-American community in police interventions.
But after the looting and the burning of stores on Wednesday night, state officials have warned that they would not tolerate further excesses, while ensuring that the case is being investigated.
The Minnesota state governor has signed a decree authorizing the intervention of the National Guard and 500 troops are already on the ground.
"George Floyd's death must generate justice and fundamental reforms, no more deaths and destruction," Governor Tim Walz has asked in a statement, while the violence of the protests has only grown.
The 46-year-old African-American died Monday night after being detained by police, who suspected he had wanted to counterfeit a $ 20 bill. During the intervention, an officer kept him on the ground by pressing his knee on his neck for several minutes. "I can't breathe anymore," Floyd is heard saying in a video that went viral. After being immobile, the man was transferred to a hospital, where they could only certify his death.
President Donald Trump "was outraged when I saw the video" of this "terrible and tragic" drama, said the spokesman for the White House , Kayleigh McEnany . "He picked up the phone right away" to make sure the FBI investigation is swift, "he said." He wants justice to be done. "
All four officers involved have been fired and local and federal authorities are investigating the case. But no charges have yet been filed, fueling anger and frustration.
"Black lives matter"
"These police officers must be arrested immediately," Philonise Floyd has asked on CNN, crying out for the death penalty for those responsible for her brother's death. "People are tired of seeing black men die, constantly, over and over again," he added. "I would like (the protesters) to be peaceful, but I cannot force them, it is difficult."
The High Commissioner of the UN for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet has urged the US to take "serious measures" and "ensure that justice is done" behind "the latest in a series of killings of unarmed African Americans, committed by US police."
The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights , the OAS organ , has condemned the death "due to the excessive use of force by the police." And, in a series of tweets, he has cited statistics indicating that people of African descent in the United States are three times more likely to be killed than whites.
The case recalls the case of Eric Garner, a black man who died in 2014 in New York suffocated during his arrest by a white police officer. Garner had also said "I can't breathe," a phrase that has become a rallying cry of the Black Lives Matter movement.
Minnesota was also marked by the death in 2016 of a black motorist, Philando Castile, shot dead during a police checkup in the eyes of his partner and a girl.
One dead after the second night of protests
Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo has admitted Thursday that there is a "hope deficit" in his city and that his department had contributed to that. Although he has ensured that the residents' right to demonstrate and express their pain is respected, he stressed that "he would not authorize any criminal act" that could aggravate the trauma of the population.
Two protests took place calmly on Wednesday afternoon, the second day of the demonstrations, but the protest went out of control as night fell near the police station where the agents involved in the drama worked. Thirty businesses were looted or burned and the police had to fire tear gas to prevent protesters from crossing the police station's fences.
A man died after being shot near the protests and a suspect was arrested.
Reverend Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton , iconic figures in the fight for civil rights, traveled to Minneapolis on Thursday to pay tribute to Floyd. The first has called for protests across the country.
Following violent protests in Los Angeles on Wednesday, several hundred people protested Thursday at Union Square in New York ; at least five were arrested by the police.
Activists are planning a demonstration on Friday in downtown Washington, DC , near the White House . Ilhan Omar , who represents Minneapolis in Congress, has called for calm, but warned that there is "extreme frustration" and that "anger continues to rage because justice has not yet been done."
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