Photos Show Protests in Minneapolis and NYC Over George Floyd's Death Escalated Into Violence, Flames and Destruction

Peaceful protests over the death of George Floyd quickly turned into violence and destruction in Minneapolis and New York City Thursday night.

Demonstrators caused massive damage and set fires in another night of a chaos in the streets of Minneapolis. The angry crowds even managed to overtake the Third Precinct station after police evacuated it "in the interest of the safety" of the personnel inside, according to a statement by authorities. The protesters eventually entered the building forcibly and set it on fire.

The city of Minneapolis' Twitter account posted a tweet shortly after midnight Friday urging people to retreat from the area because of "unconfirmed reports" that gas lines were cut under the precinct. It read: "We're hearing unconfirmed reports that gas lines to the Third Precinct have been cut and other explosive materials are in the building. If you are near the building, for your safety, PLEASE RETREAT in the event the building explodes."

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Mayor Jacob Frey said Friday he decided to evacuate the station because "the symbolism of a building cannot outweigh the importance of life." He said the precinct area will continue to be patroled.

Video that captured the events in the early hours of Friday morning by Fox 9 News reporter Paul Blume showed raging fires and massive clouds of smoke in the area. "Current view from highway 55 bridge looking down towards third precinct police headquarters and Target store on East Lake. Fires seemingly in every direction," he wrote.

Governor Tim Walz sent out a series of tweets Thursday, before the precinct station fire, stating that he had requested the assistance of the Minnesota National Guard "to protect peaceful protesters, neighbors, and small businesses."

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"It is time to rebuild. Rebuild the city, rebuild our justice system, and rebuild the relationship between law enforcement and those they're charged to protect. George Floyd's death should lead to justice and systemic change, not more death and destruction," the governor wrote.

"As George Floyd's family has said, he 'would not want people to get hurt. He lived his life protecting people.' Let's come together to rebuild, remember, and seek justice for George Floyd," Walz said.

Floyd was killed Monday after police officer Derek Chauvin, along with three other officers, arrested him in response to a call that said Floyd had used a counterfeit $20 bill at a local supermarket. Video recorded at the scene moments after Floyd is handcuffed shows Chauvin kneeling on the back of Floyd's neck as he is lying face down on the ground.

Floyd can be heard saying he could not breathe before he ultimately became unresponsive. A fire department report said Floyd did not have a pulse before he was loaded into an ambulance that took him to the Hennepin County Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.

The event led to protests around the United States, some turning violent. In New York City, over 40 people were arrested in Union Square. Christian Benavides, a reporter at WPIX-TV, tweeted a video of the clash between police and protesters, writing: "Union Square rally in solidarity with George Floyd got heated. The [New York Police Department] have taken some protestors into custody."

An NYPD spokesperson told Newsweek that "multiple officers" were attacked by demonstrators at the event.

"We have over 40 people that are arrested right now in regards to this ongoing demonstration," the spokesperson said. "We have multiple officers that have been attacked. We have one officer that was hit with a garbage can, and we have another officer who was punched in his face."

Newsweek reached out to Walz and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio for comments on how they plan to manage any further protests but did not hear back before publication.

 Protests Continue Over Death Of George Floyd, Killed In Police Custody In Minneapolis
Protesters cheer as the Third Police Precinct station burns behind them on May 28 in Minneapolis. As unrest continued after the death of George Floyd, police abandoned the building, allowing protesters to set it on fire. Stephen Maturen/Getty
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Protesters throw objects into a fire outside a Target store near the Third Police Precinct station on May 28. Kerem Yucel/Getty
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A protester lies on a gate outside the Third Police Precinct station on May 28. Kerem Yucel/Getty
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A man walks past a liquor store in flames near the Third Police Precinct station on May 28. Kerem Yucel/Getty
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Flames rise from a liquor store and shops near the Third Police Precinct station on May 28. Kerem Yucel/Getty
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Protesters occupy the parking lot of a Target store near the Third Police Precinct station on May 28. Kerem Yucel/Getty
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Protesters light a Molotov cocktail during a protest in front of the Third Police Precinct station on May 28. Kerem Yucel/Getty
 Protests Continue Over Death Of George Floyd, Killed In Police Custody In Minneapolis
A police officer stands watch as a looted pawnshop burns on May 28. Stephen Maturen/Getty
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New York City police officers stand in front of protesters during a Black Lives Matter demonstration on May 28. Johannes Eisele/Getty
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New York City police officers arrest a protester during the Black Lives Matter demonstration on May 28. Johannes Eisele/Getty
 Protesters Gather In New York City To Denounce Police Killing Of Minneapolis Man George Floyd
A protester is detained by police during a rally in Manhattan's Union Square. Stephanie Keith/Getty
 New Yorkers demonstrate against the killing of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer
A protester is detained by a New York City police officer as a biker takes a photo on May 28. A group, followed by police, marched through the streets from Union Square to Wall Street, with occasional arrests and scuffles with police officers. Andrew Lichtenstein/Getty
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A protester gestures at a New York City police officer during the Black Lives Matter demonstration on May 28. Johannes Eisele/Getty
Photos Show Protests in Minneapolis and NYC Over George Floyd's Death Escalated Into Violence, Flames and Destruction | U.S.