George Floyd protests spread nationwide

By Melissa Macaya, Mike Hayes, Fernando Alfonso III, Daniella Diaz, Jessie Yeung, Steve George, Ivana Kottasová and Nick Thompson, CNN

Updated 8:56 p.m. ET, May 30, 2020
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12:24 a.m. ET, May 29, 2020

Minneapolis police release 911 call that led to encounter with George Floyd

From CNN's Faith Karimi

On Thursday night, Minneapolis police released a transcript of the 911 call that led to George Floyd's arrest and death, which has sparked outrage nationwide as protesters demand justice. Here's the transcript:

Operator: 911 what's the address of the emergency?

Caller: This is ah 3759 Chicago Ave.

Operator: How can I help you?

Caller: Um someone comes our store and give us fake bills and we realize it before he left the store, and we ran back outside, they was sitting on their car. We tell them to give us their phone, put their (inaudible) thing back and everything and he was also drunk and everything and return to give us our cigarettes back and so he can, so he can go home but he doesn't want to do that, and he's sitting on his car cause he is awfully drunk and he's not in control of himself.

Operator: Okay, what type of vehicle does he have?

Caller: And .... um he's got a vehicle that is ah ... one second let me see if I can see the license. The driver license is BRJ026.

Operator: Okay, what color is it?

Caller: It's a blue color. It's a blue van.

Operator: Blue van?

Caller: Yes, van.

Operator: Alright blue van, gotcha. Is it out front or is it on 38th St.?

Caller: Ah it's on 38th St.

Operator: On 38th St. So, this guy gave a counterfeit bill, has your cigarettes, and he's under the influence of something?

Caller: Something like that, yes. He is not acting right.

Operator: What's he look like, what race?

Caller: Um, he's a tall guy. He's like tall and bald, about like 6 ... 6 1/2, and she's not acting right so and she started to go, drive the car.

Operator: Okay so, female or a male?

Caller: Um...

Operator: Is it a girl or a boy?

Caller: (Talking to somebody else) — he's asking (inaudible) one second. Hello?

Operator: Is it a girl or a boy that did this?

Caller: It is a man.

Operator: Okay. Is he white, black, Native, Hispanic, Asian?

Caller: Something like that.

Operator: Which one? White, black, Native, Hispanic, Asian?

Caller: No, he's a black guy.

Operator: Alright (sigh).

Caller: How is your day going?

Operator: Not too bad.

Caller: Had a long day, huh?

Operator: What's your name?

Caller: My name is (deleted)

Operator: Alright, a phone number for you?

Caller: (Deleted)

Operator: Alright, I've got help on the way. If that vehicle or that person leaves before we get there, just give us a call back, otherwise we'll have squads out there shortly, okay?

Caller: No problem.

Operator: Thank you.

12:16 a.m. ET, May 29, 2020

Denver mayor to protesters: "Let's demonstrate, but let's do so peacefully"

From CNN’s Leslie Perrot and Raja Razek

Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock pleaded with people in the city to demonstrate peacefully in a post on Twitter Thursday night. 

"Hey Denver. I understand your frustration and pain following the murder of George Floyd. I plead to you -- let's demonstrate, but let's do so peacefully," Hancock tweeted. 
In another tweet, he said, "You can be angry. You can be outraged. I certainly am and I join you in those feelings and demands of #JusticeForGeorgeFloyd. March for justice and to see it served, but please march in peace. Responding to violence with violence will only lead to more violence."

He then posted a video statement, saying he "understands the frustration and sense of pain and disgust following the murder of George Floyd."

"Leave the weapons at home and let's walk, let's march together in unity and let's have our voices heard but keep everyone safe," he said in the video. "That is the way we need to do this. And let's do it in the memory of George Floyd and so many others and their families who are suffering from the pain from these type of incidents in our communities."

Protests across the nation: Tonight, protests rage across America. Some remain peaceful while others have turned destructive, with reports of looting and arson.

So far we've seen demonstrations in Phoenix, Arizona; Louisville, Kentucky; Memphis, Tennessee; and of course, Minneapolis and St. Paul in Minnesota.

12:11 a.m. ET, May 29, 2020

Minneapolis police have evacuated the station that's currently on fire

WCCO
WCCO

The Minneapolis police evacuated all staff in the 3rd Precinct shortly after 10 p.m. local time “in the interest of the safety of our personnel,” according to a statement from John Elder, director of the department’s Office of Public Information.  

“Protesters forcibly entered the building and have ignited several fires,” Elder said.

A fire appears to have engulfed about half of the building, with the crowd of protesters outside cheering and setting off firecrackers and fireworks.

12:00 a.m. ET, May 29, 2020

More than 500 National Guard soldiers are heading to Minneapolis and St. Paul 

From CNN’s Joe Sutton

The Minnesota National Guard announced on its Twitter that troops have been activated, as protests continue in St. Paul and Minneapolis.

"We have activated more than 500 soldiers to St. Paul, Minneapolis and surrounding communities. Our mission is to protect life, preserve property and the right to peacefully demonstrate. A key objective is to ensure fire departments are able to respond to calls," said the tweet.

1:31 a.m. ET, May 29, 2020

Protesters have set a Minneapolis police station on fire

Source: CNN
Source: CNN

It's past 10:30 at night in Minneapolis, but the protests show no sign of slowing -- if anything, they appear to be ratcheting up in intensity, with protesters setting a police precinct on fire.

Police had set up a fence around the precinct earlier, but it has since been pushed over and thousands of protesters are crowding around the precinct, climbing up the building and lighting its exterior on fire.

"The precinct is on fire. We don't know where the police are," said CNN National Correspondent Sara Sidner. "The fire alarm is going on inside ... People are cheering and more fireworks are going off as the police precinct is burning."

There is no sound of a siren in the background, and no sign of firefighters arriving -- a stark contrast to the protests last night, when multiple fire trucks arrived to put out fires.

"The police have made a calculated decision that they're not going enforce what we're seeing behind us," said CNN Correspondent Josh Campbell, who is also on the scene.

It may be because the police know their presence could further inflame tensions and make the situation escalate, Campbell added. "It's a dangerous and volatile situation here. I think the police know that."

Watch more:

11:37 p.m. ET, May 28, 2020

St. Paul Mayor: The video of George Floyd's death is "nauseating"

From CNN’s Jennifer Henderson

St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter.
St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter. Source: WCCO

Melvin Carter, the mayor of St. Paul, Minnesota, told CNN the video of George Floyd's death was "nauseating" and that protesters' anger was "understandable."

"It's heartbreaking for everybody I know ... everybody I know looks at that video and feels like crying or throwing up, and it's disgusting, it's unacceptable,” he said.

“The only human response to that video is anger and sadness," he added.

When asked about the ongoing protests, Carter said, "I think we're just seeing a generalized rage, and I want to say a rage that's understandable when we see such a stomach turning video of George Floyd being killed in the way that he was, by people who we've paid to protect us.”

“If it was just George Floyd then maybe that would be one thing. But you know, as we all know, we've seen video after video…we've seen that the people responsible go free. And it seems no one gets held accountable."

He acknowledged that members of the community were unhappy with the rioting and looting, and described it as "unfortunate and destructive" -- but said there was a broader root problem that needed addressing.

"In order to get to the bottom of this we have to understand where the rage is coming from in the first place," he said.

11:52 p.m. ET, May 28, 2020

Protests in Minneapolis continue to grow in size

A woman yells at a sheriff's deputy during a protest following the death of George Floyd at the hand of Minneapolis police officers, on Thursday, May 28 in Minneapolis.
A woman yells at a sheriff's deputy during a protest following the death of George Floyd at the hand of Minneapolis police officers, on Thursday, May 28 in Minneapolis. Mark Vancleave/Star Tribune via AP

As evening falls in Minneapolis, protests show few signs of abating.

CNN Correspondent Josh Campbell, on the scene in Minneapolis, described the scene, as crowds continue to grow.

"There was a member of the community yelling at people throwing rocks into windows, saying, 'Don't do this in my community.' Not everybody here behind us is a protester. Some are trying to keep the peace," he said.

The crowds have been there all afternoon and there seem to be more people out tonight than last night.

Several large fires are still active, including a car that has been set alight, and the air is thick with billowing smoke and tear gas.

Earlier, police put up a fence around the perimeter of the police department, to separate the protesters from the precinct. The fence has since been pushed down by protesters.

There are police on rooftops, throwing tear gas down to the street, said Campbell. Protesters are responding by throwing rocks and glass bottles, setting off firecrackers, and using lasers to point to police officers as it gets dark out.

Watch below:

10:28 p.m. ET, May 28, 2020

House Judiciary committee demands Department of Justice investigation on police violence

From CNN's Jeremy Herb and Manu Raju

The House Judiciary Committee has sent a letter to the Department of Justice, calling for an investigation into police violence.

The committee is opening its own oversight and legislative action in response, said the letter.

“America’s history of racism and racially motivated violence is a plague that continues to live on through generations," said Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler.

"The federal government has a critical role to play in promoting a culture of accountability for all law enforcement organizations, including at the state and local level. This is why House Judiciary Democrats have sent a letter today to the US Department of Justice to demand action."

He added that the committee would open its own oversight and legislative action "to address the crisis of racial profiling, excessive force by law enforcement and lost trust between police departments and the communities they serve.”

The letter pointed to a number of recent cases in addition to George Floyd that have attracted nationwide attention -- Ahmaud Arbery, who was was killed while jogging near Brunswick, Georgia, and Breonna Taylor, an EMT who was killed after officers forced their way inside her home.

11:34 p.m. ET, May 28, 2020

St. Paul mayor requests National Guard assistance

From Jennifer Henderson 

A police watch as firefighters work during demonstrations Thursday, May 28, in St. Paul, Minnesota.
A police watch as firefighters work during demonstrations Thursday, May 28, in St. Paul, Minnesota. Julio Cortez/AP

St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter told CNN he spoke with Minnesota’s governor and requested the National Guard after protests and fires Thursday.  

“We have requested the assistance of the National Guard, and so we expect that response to be forthcoming and we expect their assistance to be forthcoming,” Carter said.

Earlier today: Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz signed an executive order activating the Minnesota National Guard after protests and demonstrations erupted through the state and city of St. Paul.

George Floyd's death sparked protests across the country after a video surfaced showing the 46-year-old black man handcuffed and on the ground saying, "I can't breathe," as a police officer holds him down with a knee on his neck.