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‘This is not grieving … You need to go home’: Walz vows to restore order after fourth night of chaos in Minneapolis

Plus: Floyd protests also continue in Atlanta, Washington and New York; Pentagon orders Army to put military police units on ready to deploy to Minneapolis; Joe Biden says ‘open wound’ of systemic racism behind Floyd killing; and more.

In the Pioneer Press, Nick Woltman writes: “Peaceful protests over the death of George Floyd picked up steam as darkness fell Friday, with thousands of people ignoring an 8 p.m. curfew to walk streets in the southern part of Minneapolis. Some cars were set on fire in scattered neighborhoods, business break-ins began and eventually there were larger fires as lawless protesters outflanked authorities and converged on the 5th Precinct police station at 31st Street and Nicollet Avenue. … A heavy contingent of newly activated National Guard, state troopers and police were moving in around midnight, some on foot and some in vehicles while confronting a third straight night of nearly unchecked looting, vandalism and arson.”

MPR reports: “In stunning terms typically heard in war zones, not the Twin Cities, Gov. Tim Walz vowed to hold ground, restore order and take back the streets of Minneapolis from what his public safety chief described as an ‘armed … entrenched group of rioters.’ During a 1:30 a.m. briefing Saturday, Walz conceded his administration had underestimated the size of the crowds they expected to face in Friday’s protests — as well as their level of aggression and tactics. Police were fired on. Walz said he would call up another 1,000 Minnesota National Guard soldiers in response, putting more than 1,500 Guard members on the streets — the largest civilian deployment in Minnesota history. Right now, he said, authorities don’t have the bodies to enforce the curfew. ‘We cannot arrest people when we’re trying to hold ground,’ he said. ‘There’s simply more of them than us.’”

The Star Tribune’s Ryan Faircloth writes: “At 1:30 a.m. Saturday, a visibly exhausted Gov. Tim Walz and Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey held a lengthy, emotionally ragged news conference. Walz began by saying that he had talked to Floyd’s family and that they agreed what was happening in Minneapolis was horrific and counterproductive. ‘The absolute chaos — this is not grieving, and this is not making a statement [about an injustice] that we fully acknowledge needs to be fixed — this is dangerous,’ Walz said. ‘You need to go home.’”

A team from The Washington Post reports: “Protests continued Friday evening in Minneapolis and other cities across the country, including New York City, Atlanta and Washington. Arrests were made in New York City as hundreds of protesters fanned out around Lower Manhattan. In Brooklyn, officers struggled with demonstrators, holding some down on the ground, amid screams. In Atlanta, large crowds gathered at the CNN Center. Some protesters sprayed graffiti on the giant red letters outside the headquarters, while other smashed windows and threw rocks at the building before the crowds were pushed down the street by police. Soon after, a police vehicle caught fire near the building.”

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The Associated Press reports: “As unrest spread across dozens of American cities on Friday, the Pentagon took the rare step of ordering the Army to put several active-duty U.S. military police units on the ready to deploy to Minneapolis, where the police killing of George Floyd sparked the widespread protests. Soldiers from Fort Bragg in North Carolina and Fort Drum in New York have been ordered to be ready to deploy within four hours if called, according to three people with direct knowledge of the orders. Soldiers in Fort Carson, in Colorado, and Fort Riley in Kansas have been told to be ready within 24 hours.”

WCCO-TV reports: “A lawyer has issued a statement from the wife of the now-arrested and charged former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, and she said she has filed for divorce. ‘This evening, I spoke with Kellie Chauvin and her family. She is devastated by Mr. Floyd’s death and her utmost sympathy lies with his family, with his loved ones and with everyone who is grieving this tragedy. She has filed for dissolution of her marriage to Derek Chauvin,’ reads the statement released by Sekula Law Offices.”

From the AP: “Joe Biden said Friday that the ‘open wound’ of systemic racism was behind the police killing of a handcuffed black man in Minnesota. Biden also accused President Donald Trump, without mentioning him by name, of inciting violence with a tweet that warned that protesters could be shot. ‘We are a country with an open wound. None of us can turn away,’ Biden said in a brief address. The presumptive Democratic presidential nominee has built his campaign around a promise to heal ‘the soul of the nation’ and is suddenly getting his chance to try in real-time.”

KSTP-TV has this: “The University of St. Thomas Criminal and Juvenile Defense law students and supervising faculty announced they are available to represent protesters charged with gross misdemeanors, misdemeanors, petty offenses or delinquency offenses. According to a release from the university, inquiries are being evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Representation will depend upon income eligibility, conflict of interest and capacity.”