The city of Minneapolis has been consumed by rioting and looting in the wake of the death of George Floyd on Monday, which occurred during an arrest in which a police officer kept his knee on Floyd’s neck as Floyd pleaded for air.
While there has also been plenty of peaceful protest, a small minority of protesters has, with unfortunate predictability, used the opportunity to lay waste to property.
It’s early days and we don’t necessarily know how Floyd died. From what we can see on amateur video, it looks particularly odious. It was obviously going to provoke a reaction. When that reaction turns lawless, however, that’s when authorities need to step in.
But don’t expect the Minneapolis police to react too strongly. In fact, Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo says the rioting and looting is so bad they’re unable to stop it.
In an interview with KARE-TV on Thursday, Arradondo said the lack of police presence at looting locations — like a Target, an AutoZone and a liquor store — was deliberate.
During the piece, he was asked what the plan was to deal with the looters and rioters.
“Right now, our main priority for our officers there are the safety of those who are out there,” Arradondo said, haltingly.
“So we do have peaceful protesters who, just by the dynamics, are in the middle or in the mix with those who are causing some of this destruction. And so they’re being injured. And so we need to make sure we’re providing safety and protection for them.”
He went on to say that they needed to make sure the resources of the police were focused on “preserving life.” As for the looters, he urged “a call for peace,” which I’m sure went heeded.
“I’m wanting to make sure I’m understanding you correctly,” the anchor said. “So what you are saying is that it’s too dangerous for police to directly confront the looters.
“So you’ve made the decision to maybe let that site go for now and focus on keeping the rest of the neighborhood as safe as possible?”
“Absolutely,” the police chief responded. “Our officers have had molotov cocktails thrown at them, rocks and other projecticles. And so obviously their safety is paramount. And so I don’t want them going into an area where they’re at risk of harming themselves.”
The Minneapolis chief of police basically telling officers it’s too dangerous to go stop any of this looting. Gonna be a long night pic.twitter.com/HTJZxAp4gN
— Jake Schneider (@jacobkschneider) May 28, 2020
He certainly wasn’t joking. In fact, Minneapolis’ 3rd Precinct building had to be evacuated Thursday night after rioters took it over and set it ablaze.
The building was breached at 10 p.m. local time. Shortly afterward, according to WCCO-TV, police issued a statement saying “in the interest of the safety of our personnel, the Minneapolis Police Department evacuated the 3rd Precinct of its staff. Protesters forcibly entered the building and have ignited several fires.”
Things went wrong the other way after the Minnesota National Guard and state troopers were called in to clean out the streets around the 3rd Precinct. They ended up arresting Omar Jimenez, a CNN correspondent, on-air as they swept the area of rioters.
CNN correspondent Omar Jimenez and his crew were arrested by Minnesota State Police this morning while reporting on the ground in Minneapolis pic.twitter.com/0b9gXEtBXu
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) May 29, 2020
So that went well.
This isn’t to cast aspersions on the right of people to protest or the correctness of the cause.
But this isn’t the proper way to remember George Floyd or to express disgust at his death. Neither looting nor rioting is a form of protest, no matter how much revisionist spin people want to put on how it’s the only form of expression available to the powerless or some such piffle.
What does it say about how the state is being run when police openly admit they don’t have the resources or the tactical ability to stop looting and rioting?
For the police to admit they’re allowing crime because they can’t protect against it says quite a bit about the dysfunction playing out on the streets of Minneapolis right now.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.