Mayor Frey on rioting and looting: 'We must restore the peace'


(WCCO) What would George Floyd do while shootings and rage fill the streets of Minneapolis, a place he loved? He would call for peace.

As chaos and violence swirled in Minneapolis, Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey said it's time to people to come together, find peace in their hearts and truly make a change.

"We must restore the peace," Frey said during a press conference Thursday morning, adding that it's what Floyd himself would have wanted as he was "all about love and all about peace."

Of course, Frey did not receive that love and that peace from police officers after they were called on suspicion he had passed counterfeit money, the mayor added.

Just about everyone in the country knows what happened next: Floyd died after an officer knelt on the back of his neck for at least seven minutes while he cried out for help and said he couldn't breathe. 

City Council Vice President Andrea Jenkins said the incident made it feel like there's a knee on the necks of African Americans. "I am a part of this system to help to take that knee off of our necks and that is the work that I will be doing," she said, adding, "Something's gotta change."

Jenkins blamed racism, saying, "If you don't call cancer what it is, you can never cure that disease."

The community is in trauma, Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo said, adding that he knows the police department added to that and to the community's "deficit of hope."

Arradondo added they're committed to maintaining public peace in every section of the city and criminal acts -- like looting, and robbing and setting fires -- which will only compound the trauma, will not be allowed. 

There was a core group of people out on the streets Wednesday who were focused on causing destruction, he said. "The crowds got large and they became more mobile," he said.

Rioters ignited fires and looted stores all over the city, destroyed squad cars in the 3rd precinct, with at least five people struck by gunfire, and one death when the owner of a pawn shop opened fire on a man he believed was burglarizing his business. The National Guard was called in to relive officers in the 3rd precinct, who struggled to maintain peace and order.