Today, Governor Tim Walz (DFL-MN) announced a different time for the curfew from 10:00 pm tonight to 4 am tomorrow. This will allow for people to gather again at the site of George Floyd’s death, which occurred at 9:25 pm. The fact only one fire was reported and the streets were empty it may be the cessation of the rampant crimes seen the three previous days. While restaurants are allowed outside seating and barbershops and hair salons are allowed to reopen under social distancing measures, the Twin Cities breathes a collective sigh of relief.
Sunday was punctuated by a tanker truck on the 35W bridge, barreling down on protesters and actually appearing to have sped up. What was expected to be mass carnage, miraculously resulted in no deaths or injuries accept to the driver, who was beaten and also protected by the protestors. This was reminiscent of the Reginald Denny, the truck driver hit in the head after the Rodney King beating in 1991.
Last night, we watched the press conference by Walz who fielded questions from the press which challenged the assertion of the damage being done at the hands of people from outside of Minnesota. Walz quickly tried to squelch the idea that the state was trying to create a “narrative” and this put him inline with St Paul Mayor Melvin Carter III, who had made a similar statement regarding the day before and retracted his previous statement.
The pressure to assert blame to out-of-state actors is something being foster by Donald J Trump (R) who seeks to lay blame on the extreme left, Antifa, which ironically is a loose association of anti-fascist group majorly opposed to Trump and right-wing fascists, and the Democratic Socialists of America, which has a small activist group in Minneapolis.
The creation of conspiracy theories is running rampant, but often theories have some basis in fact. The Umbrella Man who broke out the windows of the AutoZone on Minnehaha Avenue and E Lake Street, is a white man, thought to be a police officer. The minority owned businesses were torched by white supremacists, or after having been through three months of lockdown during the COVID-19 pandemic were torched by their owners. The Minneapolis 3rd District Precinct was burned by white people not the black protestors. There were roving groups of young men, who did break not a loot stores in the area. They went right around the National Guard troops who were not going to fire on young hoodlums, but witnessed the crime.
The problem is the low amount of arrests made don’t provide a means to make a full assessment. If everyone who was out after curfew had been arrested for violating the order then determining their places of origin would be more plausible. The detention of all people in violation would have sent a clear message and reduced the number of people able to turnout.
With tonight being one week since the death of George Floyd and the call for his family to stop the crimes, the looting and the arson some calm may be returned.
Here is the latest press release.
Governor Tim Walz today signed Executive Order 20-69 modifying and extending the temporary nighttime Minneapolis and St. Paul curfew through Wednesday morning to provide safety for Minnesota residents from individuals who have engaged in unlawful and dangerous activity in recent days and threatened the security of lawful demonstrators and first responders.
“Having a curfew in place has allowed law enforcement to separate out those who mean to bring further pain and destruction in our communities from the thousands who have peacefully demonstrated for systemic changes in George Floyd’s name,” said Governor Walz. “I want to thank our public servants who’ve worked tirelessly to restore peace to our neighborhoods, and all Minnesotans who have abided by the curfew to keep our communities safe.”
“This past week has been one of the most painful in our state’s history,” said Lt. Governor Flanagan. “It hurts to stay inside when we know our voices are critical to bringing the systemic change we need, but we will continue this fight tomorrow, and every day after. Please stay home to stay safe and help our communities heal.”
The temporary curfew is extended from 10pm to 4am, beginning tonight, through the morning of Wednesday, June 3. During the curfew, no one is allowed to travel on Minneapolis and Saint Paul streets or public places, except for first responders, members of the media, people going back and forth to work, individuals seeking emergency care or fleeing danger, and people experiencing homelessness. Curfews are not limited to Minneapolis and St. Paul. Mayors and local governments across the state can issue their own curfews.
All Minnesotans in Minneapolis and Saint Paul are urged to comply, and to comply with instructions from law enforcement. Peace officers will enforce the curfew and arrest those who refuse to comply.
On May 25, 2020, George Floyd died while in custody of the Minneapolis Police Department. The Walz-Flanagan Administration is committed to addressing the systemic inequities and discrimination that led to this incident and seeking justice.