Minneapolis remained on edge Friday after another chaotic night when a police station and other buildings were torched, and protesters there and in neighboring St. Paul hit the streets in demonstrations marred by violence, vandalism and looting.
But it wasn’t only the Twin Cities where emotions have run high in reaction to George Floyd, the 46-year-old black man heard crying out “I can’t breathe” during a police encounter on Monday and whose death has become the latest flash point in a string of fatalities involving African Americans.
While the arrest Friday of Derek Chauvin, one of the Minneapolis police officers involved in Floyd’s death, on charges of third-degree murder and manslaughter may blunt some of the initial anger that has boiled over, tensions will remain fraught as long as there’s a lag in charges for the three other officers in the case, black activists and community members say.
“This is a young rage, the same way young people took to the streets in the 1960s, 70s and 80s,” Saje Mathieu, a history professor at the University of Minnesota who lives in suburban Minneapolis, said. “They’re saying, ‘We’re already cut. We’re already hurt. We’re already bruised. There’s no other way to communicate my pain and rage than to take to the streets.'”
That pain has resonated in major cities across the country, where protests were expected to unfold Friday night and over the weekend from Atlanta to Oakland, California, and Denver to Dallas.