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Trump sends National Guard to intervene in Minneapolis

The protest started after George Floyd's death on Memorial Day

Updated: May 29, 2020 - 5:25pm

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President Trump tweeted that the National Guard has arrived on the scene in Minneapolis, where violent riots and protests have broken out this week in the wake of George Floyd's death. 

After violence escalated on Thursday night, President Trump vowed to take control of the city if officials cannot. 

“Just spoke to Governor Tim Walz and told him that the Military is with him all the way,” Trump tweeted late Thursday. “Any difficulty and we will assume control but, when the looting starts, the shooting starts.” 

He also tweeted there was a “total lack of leadership” in Minneapolis. 

Protesters overnight set fire to a Minneapolis police precinct over the death of  Floyd, who died Monday in police custody, marking the three days of violent protests in the Minnesota city that is also spreading across the state and country.

Walz on Thursday activated the National Guard to help restore order.

Trump also tweeted that the protesters in Minneapolis are “thugs,” which resulted in Twitter flagging the post for breaking the platform’s rules on “glorifying violence.”

The Minneapolis protesters torched Minneapolis’ 3rd Precinct station, which has been a focal point since a bystander video showed a police officer kneeling on a neck of a handcuffed Floyd who pleaded “I can’t breathe.”

A police spokesman confirmed late Thursday with the Associated Press that the precinct station had been evacuated at about 10 p.m. before the blaze was set at about 3 a.m. on Friday. The station had already been vandalized, with its windows smashed and nearby buildings vandalized and looted.

The blaze essentially burned the prescient to the ground, amid other fires across the city that were still burning after sunrise Friday.

The protests have also spread to Minneapolis’ twin city of St. Paul and to New York City where demonstrators reportedly injured several police officers and as many as 70 people were arrested.