South Minneapolis still burning Friday morning after night of protests, riots over death of George Floyd

Protests over the death of George Floyd continued for a third straight night and as of Friday morning, many parts of south Minneapolis were still burning. 

Rioters set the Minneapolis Police Department Third Precinct on fire Thursday night as protests in the area turned violent. The building was evacuated.  

Gov. Tim Walz activated the Minnesota National Guard Thursday. On Friday morning, soldiers could be seen blocking off the blocks surrounding the Third Precinct. Minneapolis police said that area will be blocked off for the foreseeable future. 

minnesota national guard at minneapolis protests

National Guard soldiers blocking 26th Avenue just north of the Third Precinct and beside the looted shell of a Cub Foods. (FOX 9)

A few blocks away from the Third Precinct, the Hexagon Bar on the 2600 block of 27th Avenue South was completely gutted by fire by Friday morning. 

Fire crews a block away were also battling a fire at the Vine Art Center believed to have been started by embers from the fire at the Hexagon Bar. 

Smoke from buildings along East Lake Street could be seen from miles away. 

The growing unrest led Metro Transit to suspend bus and light rail service through the weekend. 

Minneapolis police do not have a total on the number of arrests made overnight, but say that information should be available by noon on Friday. 

The protests started after a video surfaced earlier this week showing a Minneapolis police officer kneeling on the neck of George Floyd as Floyd repeatedly says, “I can’t breathe.” The officer, now identified as Derek Chauvin, continued kneeling on Floyd’s neck even after he lost consciousness. None of the other responding officers attempted to check on Floyd until after an ambulance arrived. Floyd died at the hospital. 

The four officers have been fired. The FBI and the Minnesota BCA are investigating.