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A Look At Developments In Minnesota After Another Night Of Protests


And let's go to Minneapolis now, where we've got NPR's Adrian Florido. Adrian, good morning.

ADRIAN FLORIDO, BYLINE: Good morning, Lulu.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Not only did we see protests all across the country last night - we saw a very heavy police response, as well as National Guard response. Can you tell us about that?

FLORIDO: Yeah. Well, the National Guard's been activated in several states, including California, Ohio, Georgia and here in Minnesota, where I am, as well as in Washington, So in many cities, we saw not only police in riot gear facing off against protesters but also troops riding through the streets in military vehicles.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: In addition to those large number of troops and police, what about the tactics they're using?

FLORIDO: There's been a lot of criticism of their tactics. People have been posting videos of protesters being tear gassed, higt with rubber bullets, attacks on journalists. In New York, there's video of a police cruiser driving into protesters, a video that Mayor Bill de Blasio called upsetting. But even with this massive response, police around the country have struggled to take control. There were violent clashes with police in Chicago, chaotic protests in New York and Salt Lake City, one person killed in Indianapolis. In LA, as you mentioned, the mayor issued a curfew and deployed the National Guard. And other states have the National Guard on standby, hoping to prevent the kind of damage that we've seen here in Minneapolis.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: And there's been mass arrests and injuries on both sides of police and protesters. What was it like last night in Minneapolis?

FLORIDO: Well, over the last few days, police had been completely unable to control the looting and rioting on the streets here. And so large swaths of the city burned because the police and firefighters in many instances didn't even try to respond. But last night, things were different. Police were out in full force, patrolling the streets with the help of the National Guard. And they were determined to take control of the streets. They used tear gas, too. They used rubber bullets and police lines to disperse protesters still really furious over George Floyd's killing and police violence in general. And I can tell you, Lulu, the police mostly did take control here. There was very little damage reported last night to businesses and other property - and I don't believe any major fires reported in Minneapolis last night, either.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: So what's happening there? Do you think the unrest is subsiding?

FLORIDO: It's hard to say. Things still feel very tenuous here. Many people are still furious, like I said, over what the police did to George Floyd. And though many people did obey the city's 8 p.m. curfew last night, many did not. Listen to what this young man named Q Henderson (ph), who I spoke with last night, said. He was marching with a group of about a hundred people peacefully but angrily at around 10 o'clock, two hours after the curfew took effect.

Q HENDERSON: I think the curfew is a bunch of [expletive]. I don't think it should be implemented in the first place. It's just to keep people inside and stopping them from protesting. It's important for everyone to unite and keep on fighting.

FLORIDO: The calls for justice for George Floyd and for an end to police violence have not subsided. And so it seems that protests are definitely going to continue. Whether they'll turn violent again - it's hard to say.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: And I imagine just a lot of people in Minneapolis are on edge, wondering what's going to come next.

FLORIDO: Definitely. In fact, in a lot of neighborhoods, residents have been blocking off their streets. I went around to various neighborhoods yesterday and saw that. I also met a man last night named Chris Wiley (ph) who was standing behind a barricade at the end of his street because he said that, over the last few days, police and firefighters had not responded to calls for help when people had set fires on his street. Listen to what he said.

CHRIS WILEY: So that's why - I said I'm putting up the barrier. Y'all ain't coming down our block, terrorizing nothing. If you don't live on this block, I'm sorry, go left or right. That's how we doing it. We've got to police ourselves. We've got to make sure my block is cool because ain't nobody else doing it. Police ain't coming. Firefighters ain't come here. Nothing.

FLORIDO: Another sign, Lulu, of the unease among people here is the businesses have just shut down, almost all of them. On some streets, you drive for miles and see only boarded-up businesses. They've all been boarded up.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: That's NPR's Adrian Florido in Minneapolis. Thank you so much.

FLORIDO: Thank you. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Adrian Florido
Adrian Florido is a national correspondent for NPR covering race and identity in America.