Police chief: Much of riot damage caused by those from outside Minneapolis

An "all-out effort" is being made to stop the violence and destruction.
By Joe Nelson , |

Andy Swenson

After a night of destruction caused by rioting in south Minneapolis, city leaders say they are going to do everything they can going forward to ensure a similar outcome doesn't happen in the coming days. 

Mayor Jacob Frey said that "we will have an all-out effort to restore peace and security" in Minneapolis, with Chief of Police Medaria Arradondo said criminal behavior seen in the last 24 hours will not be allowed. 

"If individuals, as it occurred last night, are committing behavior and acts which are criminal ... if they're looting those stores, if they're robbing people ... if they are setting buildings and structures on fire, which are harming the safety of our elderly and our youth, I cannot allow that," Arradondo said. 

"I know that there is currently deficit of hope in our city," he added, noting that Minneapolis Police Department has a played a role in that deficit, most recently being involved in the in-custody death of 46-year-old George Floyd. "But I will not allow to continue to increase that deficit by re-traumatizing our folks in our community."

Arradondo noted that the majority of protesters were peaceful, but there was a "core group of people causing some destruction," including much of the damage believed to have been caused by non-Minneapolis residents. 

"I will just say it was clear to me and hearing from local community leaders that many of the people involved were not known Minneapolitans," Arradondo said.

"There were certainly those not recognized as being from the city."

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"This work is about protecting community. This work is about protecting infrastructure needed to get through this pandemic together," Frey said. "Our communities need grocery stores for food, we need banks for cash, we need pharmacies for medication."

Grocery stores and pharmacies were among the dozens of businesses looted and damaged, some even completely destroyed, during riots late Wednesday into Thursday morning. 

According to Minneapolis Fire Department, crews responded to at least 30 fire calls in the city, including 16 structure fires. 

Arradondo explained that a unified command system has been established, giving MPD resources and support from surrounding law enforcement agencies and the Minnesota State Patrol.

In addition. Mayor Frey confirmed that he is asking for support from the National Guard.

"Yes. I have made that phone call to the governor and it has been requested," said Frey, though he didn't know if Gov. Walz would grant the City of Minneapolis support from the Guard. 

There were some reports of injuries to police officers and community members, though none were serious a result directly related to the protesting. 

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