(TMU) – The fierce wave of protests washing over South Minneapolis in response to the brutal killing of George Floyd by police took a violent turn on Wednesday night, as a standoff between community demonstrators and highly armed officers in the Minneapolis Police Department’s 3rd Precinct spilled into neighboring businesses, leading to property destruction and buildings set alight.
On Thursday, Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey confirmed that he had called on the National Guard to assist local law enforcement in pacifying the protesters, whose smoldering anger has led to one of the worst mass disturbances the U.S. has seen in recent years.
The mayor’s request that the military be dispatched to the Midwestern city appeared can be interpreted as an admission that local police agencies – themselves the focal point of community anger – have simply lost the ability to rein in the protests. The Minnesota State Patrol, St. Paul Police, and Metro Transit police have also been called in to support the besieged Minneapolis Police Department, who have already shown signs of fatigue after only two nights of protests.
— Abbaa Haqaa ✊🏽 ❤️💚❤️ (@jamals35) May 28, 2020
In scenes that recall some of the most iconic moments of civil unrest in United States history, such as the Watts Rebellion of 1965 and L.A. riots of 1992, crowds of protesters fled skirmishes outside of the Third Precinct police station Wednesday evening to seek refuge in the nearby Target parking lot before some individuals began to shatter the windows and doors of the big-box retailer.
Hours of looting then ensued, with residents taking advantage of the chaos to make off with everything from large television sets to boxes of food, and everything in between.
WILD VIDEO: This is what it looked like as looters in Minneapolis ransacked a Target, running out of the store with loads of products. This was near the site of protests over George Floyd's death. Floyd's family has called for peace. https://abc7.la/2yKmhNS
Posted by ABC7 on Thursday, May 28, 2020
By early Thursday morning, nearly every business establishment within two blocks of the station had been looted or damaged. An AutoZone, Wendy’s, and even a local affordable housing development that had been under construction were nearly razed to the ground.
The sacking of local businesses by residents comes in the context of not only deep anger over the police killing of Floyd, but also the spiraling poverty and inequality that has come in the wake of a COVID-19 pandemic that has also disproportionately impacted Black communities. According to MinnPost, over 26 percent of people of color in Minnesota’s labor force have applied for unemployment since mid-March, disrupting and setting back entire communities.
On Twitter, Mayor Frey pleaded that residents returned to their homes, writing:
“Please, please Minneapolis … we cannot let tragedy beget more tragedy. Please, help us keep the peace. Stay safe and evacuate the area.”
But on Thursday, the mayor also acknowledged the deep social roots of the ongoing disturbances, telling a news conference that the violent protests were a reflection of the Black community’s anger over 400 years of inequality and systemic racism.
George Floyd, 46, was killed on Monday night after being handcuffed and pinned to the ground by the neck by Officer Derek Chauvin for several minutes. In dramatic video of the arrest that has been shared tens of millions of times across social media, Floyd can be heard begging “mama, mama” and pleading “I can’t breathe” to Chauvin and his cohorts, to no avail.
Speaking to CNN on Thursday, George’s brother Philonise Floyd said:
“They executed my brother in broad daylight … I am just tired of seeing black people dying.”
In a sign that even the most fervent defenders of U.S. law enforcement have been shaken by the enraged response to the killing, even President Donald Trump has extended condolences to the Floyd family while calling for federal authorities to open investigations into the “very sad and tragic death.”
However, such olive branches appear unlikely to quell the continuing anger of communities that feel targeted by law enforcement amid worsening economic conditions unleashed by the pandemic.
Protests have already spread to Memphis and Los Angeles, where a large group of protesters blocked the 101 Freeway and confronted law enforcement officers, while a scheduled protest in Floyd’s hometown of Houston, TX, is expected to draw huge numbers on Friday.
Major protests are occurring in Los Angeles in solidarity with the protests in Minneapolis over the murder of George Floyd.https://t.co/76nMVu6J12
— Joshua Potash (@JoshuaPotash) May 28, 2020
Dolphin Swims Through Louisiana Neighborhood in Aftermath of Hurricane Ida
A Louisiana family was shocked to find a dolphin swimming through their neighborhood in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida.
Amanda Huling and her family were assessing the damage to their neighborhood in Slidell, Louisiana, when they noticed the dolphin swimming through the inundated suburban landscape.
In video shot by Huling, the marine mammal’s dorsal fin can be seen emerging from the water.
“The dolphin was still there as of last night but I am in contact with an organization who is going to be rescuing it within the next few days if it is still there,” Huling told FOX 35.
Ida slammed into the coast of Louisiana this past weekend. The Category 4 hurricane ravaged the power grid of the region, plunging residents of New Orleans and upwards of 1 million homes and businesses in Louisiana and Mississippi into the dark for an indefinite period of time.
Officials have warned that the damage has been so extensive that it could take weeks to repair the power grid, reports Associated Press.
Also in Slidell, a 71-year-old man was attacked by an alligator over the weekend while he was in his flooded shed. The man went missing and is assumed dead, reports WDSU.
Internet users began growing weary last year about the steady stream of stories belonging to a “nature is healing” genre, as people stayed indoors and stories emerged about animals taking back their environs be it in the sea or in our suburbs.
However, these latest events are the surreal realities of a world in which extreme weather events are fast becoming the new normal – disrupting our lives in sometimes predictable, and occasionally shocking and surreal, ways.
Mom in LA Suburbs Fights Off Mountain Lion With Bare Hands, Rescues 5-Year-Old Son
A mother in Southern California is being hailed as a hero after rescuing her five-year-old son from an attacking mountain lion.
The little boy was playing outside his home in Calabasas, a city lying west of Los Angeles in the Santa Monica Mountains, when the large cat pounced on him.
The 65-pound (30 kg) mountain lion dragged the boy about 45 yards across the front lawn before the mother acted fast, running out and striking the creature with her bare hands and forcing it to free her son.
“The true hero of this story is his mom because she absolutely saved her son’s life,” California Department of Fish and Wildlife spokesman Captain Patrick Foy told Associated Press on Saturday.
“She ran out of the house and started punching and striking the mountain lion with her bare hands and got him off her son,” Foy added.
The boy sustained significant injuries to his head, neck and upper torso, but is now in stable condition at a hospital in Los Angeles, according to authorities.
The mountain lion was later located and killed by an officer with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, who found the big cat crouching in the bushes with its “ears back and hissing” at the officer shortly after he arrived at the property.
“Due to its behavior and proximity to the attack, the warden believed it was likely the attacking lion and to protect public safety shot and killed it on sight,” the wildlife department noted in its statement.
The mountain lion attack is the first such attack on a human in Los Angeles County since 1995, according to Fish and Wildlife.
The Santa Monica Mountains is a biodiverse region teeming with wildlife such as large raptors, mountain lions, bears, coyote, deer, lizards, and snakes. However, their numbers have rapidly faded in recent years, causing local wildlife authorities to find new ways to manage the region’s endemic species.
Video Shows Taliban Taking Joyride in Captured US Blackhawk Helicopter
The rapid fall of Kabul to the Taliban has resulted in a number of surreal sights – from footage of the Islamist group’s fighters exercising at a presidential gym to clips of combatants having a great time on bumper cars at the local fun park.
However, a new video of Taliban members seemingly testing their skills in the cockpit of a commandeered UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter shows the chilling extent to which U.S. wares have fallen into the hands of a group it spent trillions of dollars, and exhaustive resources, to stamp out.
In the new video, shared on Twitter, the front-line utility helicopter can be seen taxiing on the ground at Kandahar Airport in southeastern Afghanistan, moving along the tarmac. It is unclear who exactly was sitting in the cockpit, and the Black Hawk cannot be seen taking off or flying.
It is unlikely that the Taliban have any combatants who are sufficiently trained to fly a UH-60 Black Hawk.
The helicopter, which carries a $6 million price tag, is just a small part of the massive haul that fell into the militant group’s hands after the country’s central government seemingly evaporated on Aug. 14 amid the withdrawal of U.S. and coalition troops.
Some 200,000 firearms, 20,000 Humvees and hundreds of aircraft financed by Washington for the now-defunct Afghan Army are believed to be in the possession of the Taliban.
The firearms include M24 sniper rifles, M18 assault weapons, anti-tank missiles, automatic grenade launchers, rocket-propelled grenades and mortars.
Taliban fighters in the elite Badri 313 Brigade have been seen in propaganda images showing off in uniforms and wielding weaponry meant for the special forces units of the Afghan Army.
The U.S. is known to have purchased 42,000 light tactical vehicles, 9,000 medium tactical vehicles and over 22,000 Humvees between 2003 and 2016.
The White House remains unclear on how much weaponry has fallen into Taliban hands, with National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan admitting last week that the U.S. lacks a “clear picture of just how much missing $83 billion of military inventory” the group has.