Minneapolis Police have a unique way of winning the hearts and minds of their city’s residents following the death of George Floyd. They swept through neighborhoods late Saturday not far from the rioting, pointing guns at residents in their doorways and shooting them with pepperballs if they didn’t retreat indoors fast enough.
This was the very same day that Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey made it “very, very clear” that it wasn’t local residents who have been destroying his city.
“I want to be very, very clear,” Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey said during the press conference. “The people that are doing this are not Minneapolis residents. They are coming in largely from outside of this city, outside of the region, to prey on everything we have built over the last several decades.”
Yes, Minnesota cops need help with public relations. After the notorious video showed (now former) Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin kneeling on the neck of George Floyd for eight minutes, one would think the Gopher State’s law enforcement types would do what they can to engender trust and positive relations with residents.
But no. For three nights, America watched the police in Minneapolis show utter passivity towards the feral mobs. Police there stood by and watched the troublemakers loot hundreds of businesses and destroy or burn many of them to the ground.
Then Saturday evening, cops, backed by 5000 National Guard troops, opted for rude and harsh with the local taxpayers who pay their salaries. MPD officers in riot gear swarmed through residential neighborhoods…not the streets where the burning and looting were taking place. They harshly ordering residents inside their homes. Even those peaceably watching from their doorways.
This happened next.
Share widely: National guard and MPD sweeping our residential street. Shooting paint canisters at us on our own front porch. Yelling “light em up” #JusticeForGeorgeFloyd #JusticeForGeorge #BlackLivesMatter pic.twitter.com/bW48imyt55
— Tanya Kerssen (@tkerssen) May 31, 2020
You could hear at least one of the cops shout “Light them up!” when the residents didn’t move quickly enough.
Local CBS TV station WCCO picked up on the story and reported on it.
A video posted to Twitter Saturday night is going viral after apparently showing law enforcement in Minneapolis shooting paint rounds at residents on their porch after curfew went into effect.
Tanya Kerssen posted the video to Twitter shortly after 9:30 p.m., showing what she says is the Minnesota National Guard and Minneapolis police sweeping her residential street in the Whittier Neighborhood.
In the video, the officers are seen approaching the residents and repeatedly yelling at them to get inside their house. After a few demands, one can be heard yelling “light ‘em up!” That’s when one officer appears to fire a paint round at the residents, who run inside.
Meanwhile, a WCCO photographer was struck by a rubber bullet and arrested by the State Patrol Saturday night. He was released from custody after a couple hours.
The Minnesota State Police also shot a clearly-identified WCCO CBS TV photographer with a rubber bullet before arresting him last night as well.
Not surprisingly, they released the photographer after a couple of hours, probably hoping to avoid a lawsuit.
WCCO’s award-winning veteran photographer Tom Aviles has been struck by a rubber bullet and taken into custody by the State Patrol Saturday night.
During the arrest, they forced him onto the ground.
Aviles is OK. We’ve called our CBS attorneys, and they’re working on freeing him.
The arrest happened at Nicollet and Franklin at about 8:45 p.m.
He was with veteran producer Joan Gilbertson, who is OK.
They both identified themselves clearly, that they were members of the local media, and WCCO journalists.
Joan told us the patrolman said, “You’ve been warned, or the same thing will happen to you. Or you’re next.”
Joan says she had her hands up and said, “Don’t shoot me, don’t shoot me.”
Again, winning hearts and minds.
Still, some people wonder why so many Americans have pulled out their wallets and bought firearms and ammunition in recent weeks. It seems a pretty safe bet that business will be extremely brisk at gun shops across America this coming week.
As for Minneapolis’ Fraternal Order of Police Lodge #3? They will surely have a tougher time soliciting donations from local residents and local businesses after the past few days.