Standoff resumes between police and protesters, sponge bullets fired

The Minneapolis 3rd Precinct is the scene once again of angry protests.
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George Floyd

Protesters have once again congregated outside the Minneapolis Police 3rd Precinct as anger over the death of George Floyd continues.

After a night in which tear gas was deployed and non-lethal bullets fired by police in response to property damage by protesters, scenes continued to be tense Wednesday afternoon.

BMTN's Joe Nelson has been at the scene and saw a sponge round strike a young woman who was behind the fence, noting that police officers have been deployed in a line as well as atop the roof of the precinct.

Barricades have been erected to separate protesters and police officers, with at least one more window being smashed at the police station.

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Minneapolis PD Chief Medaria Arradondo has said his officers will "continue to safeguard 1st Amendment speech" but issued a warning to a group of individuals "who have participated in assaultive behavior and destruction of property."

"Their actions are placing people at great risk of being seriously injured," he said. "I’m urging those who are gathering to please do so peacefully. Criminal behavior will not be tolerated."

Earlier on Wednesday, Mayor Jacob Frey said he backed Minneapolis police's response to the protests on Tuesday, which escalated after some broke into the 3rd Precinct parking lot and vandalized squad cars.

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Frey said the presence of guns and ammunition inside the squads necessitated the response, which include tear gas.

However, videos have emerged from Tuesday showing instances unrelated to the parking lot break-in that raises questions about the police response, including protesters on 32nd and Chicago having chemical irritant being used against them, a woman outside the 3rd Precinct being struck with a sponge round, while the same happened to Star Tribune reporter Andy Mannix.

Gov. Tim Walz and Attorney General Keith Ellison said they understood the frustrations of the protesters, but called for them to protest peacefully, and thanked them for wearing masks amid the pandemic.

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