Photos Show Protests in Minneapolis Over George Floyd's Death Turn Violent, as Fires Burn Amid Riot

Thousands of protesters fueled by anger took the streets of Minneapolis for the second night this week demanding justice for George Floyd, an unarmed black many who died in police custody.

Protesters clashed with riot police who used teargas in an effort to disperse crowds as businesses in downtown Minneapolis were burned and vandalized.

The violence erupted two days after a video showing former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin kneeling on Floyd's neck during an arrest that resulted in the latter's death—and hours after Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey called for Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman to file criminal charges against Chauvin.

"I have wrestled with—more than anything else over the last 36 hours— one fundamental question: Why is the man who killed George Floyd not in jail," Frey said to reporters on Wednesday. "If you had done it or I had done it, we would be behind bars right now. George Floyd deserves justice. His family deserves justice, the black community deserves justice, and our city deserves justice."

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On Wednesday night, thousands of protesters wearing face coverings surrounded the MPD's Third Precinct police station, about half a mile from where Floyd had been arrested, according to a Reuters report.

Police officers formed a human barricade around the precinct and confronted protesters who chanted "No justice, no peace" and "I can't breathe."

Floyd, 46, was accused of passing a counterfeit $20 at the Cup Foods on Monday. He was taken into custody outside the store and did not resist arrest, according to video evidence recorded by a bystander.

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Video of police officer Chauvin kneeling on a prone and handcuffed Floyd—who was repeatedly heard on the video telling officers "I can't breathe"—went viral.

Chauvin and three other police officers involved in the arrest were fired.

On Thursday, the Department of Justice Civil Rights Division, the U.S. Attorney's Office in Minnesota, and the FBI's Minneapolis field office announced in a joint statement that they were conducting a "robust investigation" into the actions leading up to Floyd's death in order to determine if police violated Floyd's civil rights. If proven, it may result in federal charges against Chauvin and the other officers involved.

It is a violation of federal law for an individual acting under color of law to willfully deprive another person of any right protected by the Constitution or laws of the United States, according to the DOJ.

"The Department of Justice has made the investigation a top priority and has assigned experienced prosecutors and FBI criminal investigators to the matter," the statement read.

George Floyd Riot
People protests in Minneapolis on May 27, 2020, over the death of George Floyd. George Floyd died in police custody in Minneapolis on Monday night, after an officer held his knee into Floyd's neck for more than 5 minutes. Jordon Strowder/Anadolu Agency/Getty
Minneapolis Riot, Protest
A man holds a sign while protesting near the area where a Minneapolis Police Department officer allegedly killed George Floyd, on May 26, 2020 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. - A video of a handcuffed black man dying while a Minneapolis officer knelt on his neck for more than five minutes sparked a fresh furor in the US over police treatment of African Americans Tuesday. Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey fired four police officers following the death in custody of George Floyd on Monday as the suspect was pressed shirtless onto a Minneapolis street, one officer's knee on his neck. KEREM YUCEL/Getty
Minneapolis Protests
A fire rages in the street just north of the 3rd Police Precinct on May 27, 2020 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The station has become the site of an ongoing protest after the police killing of George Floyd. Four Minneapolis police officers have been fired after a video taken by a bystander was posted on social media showing Floyd's neck being pinned to the ground by an officer as he repeatedly said, "I can’t breathe". Floyd was later pronounced dead while in police custody after being transported to Hennepin County Medical Center. )/Getty
Minneapolis Riot
A view outside a Target store on May 27, 2020 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Businesses near the Third Police Precinct were looted and damaged today as the area has become the site of an ongoing protest after the police killing of George Floyd. Four Minneapolis police officers have been fired after a video taken by a bystander was posted on social media showing Floyd's neck being pinned to the ground by an officer as he repeatedly said, "I can’t breathe". Floyd was later pronounced dead while in police custody after being transported to Hennepin County Medical Center. (Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images)
Minneapolis Riot
People look on as a construction site burns in a large fire near the Third Police Precinct on May 27, 2020 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. A number of businesses and homes were damaged as the area has become the site of an ongoing protest after the police killing of George Floyd. Four Minneapolis police officers have been fired after a video taken by a bystander was posted on social media showing Floyd's neck being pinned to the ground by an officer as he repeatedly said, "I can’t breathe". Floyd was later pronounced dead while in police custody after being transported to Hennepin County Medical Center. Stephen Maturen/Getty
Minneapolis Riots
People hold up their fists after protesting near the spot where George Floyd died while in custody of the Minneapolis Police, on May 26, 2020 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. - A video of a handcuffed black man dying while a Minneapolis officer knelt on his neck for more than five minutes sparked a fresh furor in the US over police treatment of African Americans Tuesday. Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey fired four police officers following the death in custody of George Floyd on Monday as the suspect was pressed shirtless onto a Minneapolis street, one officer's knee on his neck. Kerem Yucel/Getty
Minneapolis Protests
Protesters are trapped between police and other protesters who gathered in a call for justice for George Floyd following his death, outside the 3rd Police Precinct on May 27, 2020 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. - The family of an African American man killed by Minneapolis police while handcuffed in custody demanded Wednesday that the officers be charged with murder. After a night of angry protests over the death of George Floyd, with law enforcement firing tear gas and rubber bullets in the northern US city, his sister Bridgett Floyd demanded the arrest of the four white police officers involved in his death. KEREM YUCEL/Getty
Minneapolis Protests
Two men wear shirts stating "Rest in Power George Floyd" outside the Third Police Precinct on May 27, 2020 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The station has become the site of an ongoing protest after the police killing of George Floyd. Four Minneapolis police officers have been fired after a video taken by a bystander was posted on social media showing Floyd's neck being pinned to the ground by an officer as he repeatedly said, "I can’t breathe". Floyd was later pronounced dead while in police custody after being transported to Hennepin County Medical Center. Stephen Maturen/Getty
Minneapolis Protests
Protesters gather outside the Cup Foods on Chicago Avenue and 38th Street on May 27, 2020 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The intersection has become the site of an ongoing protest after the police killing of George Floyd. Stephen Maturen/Getty
Minneapolis Protests
Protesters demonstrate in a call for justice for George Floyd following his death, outside the 3rd Police Precinct on May 27, 2020 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. - The family of an African American man killed by Minneapolis police while handcuffed in custody demanded Wednesday that the officers be charged with murder. After a night of angry protests over the death of George Floyd, with law enforcement firing tear gas and rubber bullets in the northern US city, his sister Bridgett Floyd demanded the arrest of the four white police officers involved in his death. Kerem Yucel/Getty
Minneapolis Protests
A man holds a 'Stop Killing Black People"" placard while protesting near the area where a Minneapolis Police Department officer allegedly killed George Floyd, on May 26, 2020 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. - An FBI investigation is underway following a fatal encounter May 25, 2020 between Minneapolis police and an unarmed black man. In a statement early Tuesday, police said the man had a medical incident during an attempted arrest. However, video of the encounter shows an officer with his knee on the mans neck for at least seven minutes. Before the man loses consciousness, he repeatedly tells officers that he cant breathe. KEREM YUCEL/Getty
Photos Show Protests in Minneapolis Over George Floyd's Death Turn Violent, as Fires Burn Amid Riot | News