George Floyd protests in Minneapolis–Saint Paul
The George Floyd protests in Minneapolis–Saint Paul are a series of civil unrest that began on May 26, 2020. Events in Minneapolis, also referred to as the Minneapolis riots or Minneapolis uprising, began as a response to the killing of George Floyd, a 46-year-old African-American man who died on May 25 after Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin knelt on Floyd's neck for nearly eight minutes as three other officers assisted during an arrest. Unrest spilled over into Saint Paul and throughout Minnesota and quickly inspired a global protest movement against police brutality and racial inequality.
The majority of protests in Minneapolis–Saint Paul were peaceful. However, over a three-night period from May 27 to May 29, Minneapolis sustained extraordinary damage from rioting and looting—largely along a 5-mile (8.0 km) stretch of Lake Street south of downtown—including the demise of the city's third police precinct, which was overrun and set on fire. Neighboring Saint Paul suffered damages that totaled $82 million and affected 330 buildings, including 37 that were heavily damaged or entirely destroyed, mostly along the city's University Avenue business corridor. Minnesota Governor Tim Walz activated the state's National Guard in response to the riots, resulting in the largest deployment of its troops since World War II. By mid-June, violence in the Twin Cities had resulted in at least 2 deaths, 604 arrests, and upwards of $500 million in damage to 1,500 properties, the second-most destructive period of local unrest in United States history, after the 1992 Los Angeles riots. Most of the people who were later prosecuted in court for their role in the riots came from Saint Paul and suburban and rural Minnesota while one was from Minneapolis.Violent riots largely subsided after May 30 as mostly peaceful demonstrations continued and local officials pledged to change policing policies. Although the community responded with an outpouring of donations, food drives, volunteer cleanup efforts, and public art installments during the protests, the initial period of riots worsened local economic conditions and disproportionately impacted store owners and the cities' most vulnerable residents, whom were already impacted by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic in Minnesota. Many small business owners were unable to recover losses and quickly rebuild as available recovery funds were quickly exhausted, resulting in Minneapolis and Saint Paul officials seeking state and federal support for recovery efforts. Minneapolis also experienced a sharp increase in violent crime after Floyd's death.Local protests and unrest over Floyd's death and broader issues of racial injustice continued into 2021 in the Twin Cities, most notably the occupation protest at the intersection of East 38th Street and Chicago Avenue, where Floyd was arrested and died. Officials prepared for the possibility of continued unrest in 2021 as the trial of the four Minneapolis police officers deemed responsible for Floyd's death scheduled to start in March.