Why Are People Rioting Again in Minneapolis?

A curfew has been lifted in Minneapolis after a night of rioting and protests in the city, sparked by the death of a Black man being pursued by police.

Widespread looting and disorder broke out in the Minnesota city despite efforts by police to assure people they did not fatally shoot the murder suspect.

The man, who has not been identified, shot himself while officers moved in at 8th Street and Nicollet Mall at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, close to a crowd of horrified onlookers.

According to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, the suspect was wanted in connection with the killing of another man at a parking garage earlier that day.

Police spokesman John Elder said the suspect fled the scene with a woman after shooting the victim. The woman was soon found and detained in order to "determine her level of involvement in this shooting."

The suspect managed to evade police until around 6 p.m. on Wednesday. When officers pulled up on 8th Street and Nicollet Mall, the suspect shot himself in the doorway of a building.

Fearing a repeat of the protests that followed the killing of George Floyd in May while being detained by Minneapolis Police, the department quickly released graphic surveillance footage showing the moment the suspect took his own life.

"This evening, a murder suspect committed suicide as police approached them at 8th and Nicollet downtown. No officer weapons were fired," police said in a statement. "This is a tragedy for our community that is still hurting. Our condolences go to the families of the victims."

Despite their efforts to assure the city the suspect's death was not officer-related, large crowds soon gathered in the streets. This eventually turned to rioting and other unrest.

Several videos posted on social media appear to show businesses such as Target being looted.

Amid the disorder, Minnesota Governor Tim Walz has declared a state of emergency in Minneapolis and mobilized National Guards and State Patrol troopers to help local law enforcement deal with the unrest.

"Minneapolis, it's time to heal. We must rebuild and recover. Dangerous, unlawful behavior will not be tolerated," Walz said.

A citywide curfew was also put in effect Wednesday. It was lifted at 6 a.m. on Thursday.

"The unrest must stop and healing must start. Destruction will not be tolerated," Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey said. "Healing our city will require peace and all of us working together."

There have previously been largely peaceful demonstrations taking place in Minneapolis following the shooting of Jacob Blake by Kenosha Police.

It is unclear how many arrests there were during Wednesday's rioting. Minneapolis Police have been contacted for further comment.

Minneapolis
Minneapolis Police posted surveillance video showing the moment the murder suspect shot himself on socila media. Minneapolis Police Department