MINNEAPOLIS - The City of Minneapolis is a hotspot for civil unrest after George Floyd died in an officer-involved incident Monday night.
Officers had originally responded to the incident on a report of a forgery in progress near 38th and Chicago. They identified a man matching the suspect description in a vehicle, and got him out of his car.
Officer Derek Chauvin was spotted on video with his knee on Floyd’s kneck for several minutes. Floyd was handcuffed, unarmed and being detained by multiple officers. Floyd pleaded with officers, saying “I can’t breathe,” and appeared to lose consciousness before being placed into an ambulance. He later died at Hennepin County Medical Center.
By Tuesday afternoon, all four officers who responded to the call were terminated.
A series of protests erupted and became dangerous Wednesday night in the area near where Floyd died, resulting in dozens of businesses being vandalized, looted and some destroyed by fire. Demonstrations continued Thursday, spilling into the Midway area of St. Paul, where several businesses were vandalized and looted.
Since the incident, several Minnesota athletes and teams have gone to social media to react to the incident, including three teams with downtown Minneapolis as their home.
The Minnesota Vikings released the following statement Wednesday night.
“We are deeply saddened by the loss of life that occurred Monday evening just blocks from our stadium. Everyone in our community deserves the right to feel protected and safe. Our thoughts are with the George Floyd family and all individuals who have been affected by this tragedy,” the statement reads.
Greg Coleman, a former Vikings punter and game day contributor to KFAN Radio, tweeted on Thursday that Floyd worked security at Vikings games.
The Minnesota Twins released a statement Thursday afternoon.
“We are deeply saddened by the tragic and senseless death of George Floyd Monday night in Minneapolis. The Minnesota Twins send our deepest sympathies to the Floyd family, and join our Twin Cities community in mourning.
“We will continue to working with our community partners to move forward with courage, free of hate and thoughtful in our path, to create the change we want to see in our world – one, all-inclusive Twins Territory, where everyone is protected, safe and welcome,” the statement reads.
Across the street is Target Center, where the Minnesota Timberwolves call home. The Wolves released the following statement Thursday morning.
“Our community is grieving the senseless tragedy and death of George Floyd. The entire Timberwolves and Lynx organization shares its deepest sympathy with the Floyd family. We will work tirelessly to use our voices to influence change, encourage healing and promote thoughtful action as we move forward,” the statement reads.
Wolves coach Ryan Saunders, a rare user of social media, went to Instagram Wednesday night to offer his thoughts.
“My heart shatters in what transpired the past 36 hours. We should no longer say ‘I’m shocked,’ ‘I can’t believe what happened,’ as these phrases scream denial, denial of what is going on in the world. Events like a defenseless black man continue to happen, therefore we cannot continue to be ‘shocked.’ We must be better. Our friends, our family and our neighbors should all be able to walk down a street and live in our community without fear, no matter the race.
“Let’s look within ourselves to confront explicit or implicit biases. We can no longer look at the news and move on. We must change how we view this horrific death, change the way we interact with people and change the way we let comments slide. Enough is enough. Silence and complacency only add fuel to the fire. We must be better. George Floyd deserved better.”