Minneapolis declares state of emergency after Black homicide suspect’s death

The governor of Minnesota has declared a state of peacetime emergency in the city of Minneapolis after violent protests erupted on Wednesday night following the death of a Black homicide suspect who police say shot himself.

The city has been the center of protests following the death of George Floyd, a 46-year-old African-American man, who died in May after a police officer knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes.

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Floyd’s death and further violence against Black people have led to broader anti-racism protests and demonstrations against police brutality in cities across the United States.

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey imposed a curfew following what he described as mass looting of businesses, destruction of property, and unrest. Authorities also said there was misinformation spread in relation to the death of the suspect.

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Video posted on social media, which could not be immediately verified by Reuters, showed shots being fired and ransacking of shops.

Minneapolis police posted a surveillance video of the shooting on Twitter, saying that the victim, a suspect in a homicide, committed suicide and that no weapons were fired by police.

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The video shows a Black man shooting himself at the entrance of a building as a nearby group of people ran away and police approached the scene.

Minnesota governor Tim Walz declared a state of emergency in Minneapolis and said the National Guard would be deployed in the area.

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“Dangerous, unlawful behavior will not be tolerated. The Minnesota National Guard and State Patrol are headed to Minneapolis to help restore order,” Walz said in a statement.

The police shooting of a Black man, Jacob Blake, in the back in Kenosha, Wisconsin, on Sunday sparked three nights of unrest there that has included a wave of arson, widespread vandalism and a separate shooting that killed two people.

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The protests have become a polarizing issue ahead of the Nov. 3 presidential election, which Vice President Mike Pence and other Republicans described as a choice between “law and order” and lawlessness at their national convention on Wednesday.

“The hard truth is you won’t be safe in Joe Biden’s America,” Pence told the crowd seated on a lawn at historic Fort McHenry in Baltimore in reference to the Democratic challenger to President Donald Trump.

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