Minnesota governor calls in National Guard

Minnesota Governor Tim Walz called in the National Guard on Thursday as looting broke out in St. Paul and a wounded Minneapolis braced for more violence after rioting over the death of George Floyd, a handcuffed black man in police custody, reduced parts of one neighborhood to a smoking shambles.

The Minneapolis unrest ravaged several blocks in the Longfellow neighborhood, with scattered rioting reaching for miles across the city.

Minneapolis mayor Jacob Frey appealed to Gov. Tim Walz to activate the National Guard, a spokesman confirmed Thursday.

“It is time to rebuild. Rebuild the city, rebuild our justice system, and rebuild the relationship between law enforcement and those they’re charged to protect. George Floyd’s death should lead to justice and systemic change, not more death and destruction,” Walz tweeted.

It was the second consecutive night of violent protests following the death of Floyd, who gasped for breath during a Monday arrest in which an officer kneeled on his neck for almost eight minutes.

In footage recorded by a bystander, Floyd can be heard pleading that he can’t breathe until he slowly stops talking and moving.

The officer who kneeled on Floyd and three others were fired Tuesday.

The last time the Minnesota National Guard was called out to deal with civil unrest was in a backup role during the 2008 Republican National Convention in St. Paul.

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