Posted on May 28, 2020

Twin Cities Public Transit Shuts Down in Effort to Contain Minnesota Riots & Looting

RT, May 28, 2020

Light rail and bus transport in Minneapolis and St. Paul has been ordered to shut down as looting and riots following the death of a black man in police custody headed into the second day and threatened to spread.

Twin Cities Metro Transit had already suspended two major light rail lines serving the area around the 3rd Precinct police station in Minneapolis, after the nearby Target shopping center and several other businesses had been looted and destroyed. All other light rail and bus lines were suspended on Thursday afternoon for the rest of the day, and may or may not reopen on Friday.

The announcement came after a clash between police and masked demonstrators outside another Target store in St. Paul. Local journalist Ricardo Lopez filmed people throwing bottles and shopping carts at police.

“I am really afraid people will get hurt today. This has that ugly and chaotic energy,” he said on Twitter.

Riots erupted in Minneapolis on Wednesday night, as an angry mob stormed the Target on Hiawatha Avenue, right around the corner from the police station. Earlier in the day, crowds of protesters confronted police and attacked the 3rd Precinct, angry over the death of George Floyd. A video showed four Minneapolis PD officers arresting the African-American man, with one kneeling on his neck for several minutes. Before he died, Floyd complained he could not breathe.

There were reports that one looter was shot and killed by a shop owner. Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey has asked for the Minnesota National Guard to come in and help contain the riots.

“Our state watched George Floyd’s humanity get erased. Our feelings of anger, anguish, and disillusionment are justified,” Governor Tim Walz (D) tweeted out on Wednesday. Two hours later, he was saying that “the situation near Lake Street and Hiawatha in Minneapolis has evolved into an extremely dangerous situation,” asking everyone to leave the area so firefighters and paramedics could have access. He has not tweeted since.