MINNEAPOLIS (FOX 9) – After an evening of peaceful protests, tensions rose at a protest outside of the Minneapolis Police Department’s Fifth Precinct Wednesday night, leading to 51 arrests.
Hundreds of State Patrol officers staged at the nearby Kmart parking lot before moving in around 10:30 p.m. toward the protesters near 31st and Nicollet. Reporters on scene heard law enforcement order people to disperse and say they would arrest those who stayed.
Minneapolis police officers, Minnesota State Patrol troopers and Minnesota Department of Natural Resources conservation officers arrrested a total of 51 people, according to the Minneapolis Police Department. Forty-nine people were arrested for misdemeanors, one person was arrested for probable cause fourth-degree assault and one was arrested on a felony warrant.
Video on social media shows at least one protester throw an apparent firework at the 5th Precinct building.
Protests were held Wednesday in response to former officer Derek Chauvin being released on bond. Chauvin was the officer who held his knee on George Floyd’s neck during his arrest. Chauvin has been charged with second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in Floyd’s death. Following Chauvin’s release, Governor Tim Walz activated the Minnesota National Guard to assist law enforcement. following a request from the city.
Earlier in the evening, activists gathered for a vigil at 38th and Chicago at the George Floyd memorial. Following the vigil, protesters marched to downtown Minneapolis and returned to the memorial. Protesters voiced frustration that Chauvin had been offered bail in the first place, arguing that many in the system aren’t afforded the same opportunity.