Rocks, bottles, tear gas cannisters, shattered windows, vandalized police cars, graffiti, flash-bangs, fires, looting, and rubber bullets. It's Thursday. For the third straight night, Black people and friends have taken to the streets of Minneapolis to deliver their verdict on the police assassination of George Floyd on Monday night.
Shortly before 9:00 p.m., protesters breached two police barricades set up to keep away from the Minneapolis Police Third District Precinct. In ten minutes, hundreds of protesters surged forward laying siege to the police station. Completely abandoning the streets around the police station, the MPD retreated to the roof of the station, where protesters peppered them with a constant barrage of bottles, rocks, and various projectiles.
The police finally responded with tear gas to push the protesters away from the building. Two blocks away from the police station, thick plumes of black smoke billowed from a two- story building as firemen tried to subdue the intensifying flames. Both sides are digging in as the situation in Minneapolis continues to escalate.
10:24 p.m. -- On MSNBC live, reporter Ali Velshi reports the "The Third District Police Station is now on fire; inside and out." Four other building were on fire in a three block radius, and the police had completely ceded the area to the resistance. The fire department was no where to be seen.
On Wednesday night the outrage and protests spread to the West Coast. Hundreds of protesters marched through downtown Los Angeles and blocked traffic on Highway 101, where the windows of a California Highway Patrol car was smashed. On Thursday, protests against the assassination of George Floyd spread to Chicago, New York, Denver, Atlanta and Memphis.
The media has portrayed the scene in Minneapolis as chaos. No, this is the standard operating procedure when Black people go to the streets to deliver their own verdicts on police brutality and murder. They are confronted by the armed might of the security state.
To all those protesting George Floyd’s execution, New Black Nationalists say it’s Right to Rebel, because the evidence clear and compelling.
On Monday, the Minneapolis Police Department responded to call for a forgery suspect just before 8:30 p.m. At 9:25 p.m., George Floyd was pronounced dead at Hennepin Medical Center, after he was apprehended and a MPD officer used his knee to pin Floyd’s head and neck to the concrete for eight minutes.
At 12:41 a.m., on Tuesday morning, the Minneapolis Police Department issued a press release calling George Floyd’s death a “medical incident.” What the f… is that?
But it gets better. Less that three hours later at 3:11 a.m., the Minneapolis Police Department announced that the F.B.I. “will be part of the investigation.”
Between 6:45 a.m. and 9:54 a.m., Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey and Police Chief Arradondo, Melvin Carter, the Black Mayor of St. Paul, Senator Amy Klobuchar, and Minnesota Governor Walz all issued statements decrying the killing and calling for investigations.
By 12:00, p.m., street memorials were being be set up and crowds of protesters started to gather at 38th Street and Chicago South Avenue, the site of the killing. The Minnesota Council of American Islamic Relations called for the police officers involved to be arrested.
At 2:00 p.m., the four officers involved in Floyd's death were fired by Police Chief Arradondo, and Minneapolis Mayor Frey wondered aloud, why no police officers had been charged.
On Thursday afternoon, Hennepin County Attorney Michael Freeman held a press conference to announce his office has no plans at this time to arrest any of the four officers involved in Floyd's murder. Meanwhile, the four fired policemen announced they are taking the "fifth." According to MPD's Internal Affairs Division, officer Derek Chauvin, who pressed his knee to George Floyd's neck had 18 complaints filed against him.
The Hennepin County Attorney's refusal to arrest the murdering cops, is precisely the reason the Black community was not impressed when the four-policeman were fired and the FBI was tasked to investigate in less than twelve hours. It didn't pacify the Black community one bit. Why should it?
The community saw the videotape. Other witnesses were at the scene and pleaded with the executioners to stop choking Floyd, but to no avail. Their guilty verdict on the MPD for George Floyd's killing was as factually clear as their indictment of the entire so-called American criminal justice system's treatment of Black people and people of color.
The Black community in Minneapolis and across the country remember well the acquittal of Officer Jeronimo Yanez in 2016, after he executed Philando Castile in the back seat of his car in the neighboring St. Paul suburb of Falcon Heights.
With a clear focus on its target, the protestors set out to deliver their verdict at the doorstep of those directly responsible for Floyd’s killing; the Minneapolis Police Department’s Third Precinct. Fences at the station were ripped down and police cruiser windows were smashed. Protesters hurled rocks, police responded with tear gas and rubber bullets.
On Wednesday night, protesters kept the heat on the Third District Precinct as the MPD stepped up it tear gas and rubber bullet attacks against the protesters. In the surrounding areas close the police station some stores were looted. One auto parts store was consumed in flames. The MPD made a tactical decision not to intervene to stop the looting for fear of escalating the confrontations.
Instead, the Mayor tweeted out “Please, Minneapolis, we cannot let tragedy beget more tragedy. The area along Lake has become unsafe. We are asking for your help in keeping the peace tonight.”
Did he think the "resistance" in the heat of battle would stop to read his tweet, and then decide to pack it in for the night?
Not to be outdone, Governor Walz, tweeted out a warning people to leave the area, saying “the situation near Lake Street and Hiawatha in Minneapolis has evolved into an extremely dangerous situation.” Really?
Having failed to cool out the crisis by tweet, Mayor Frey and Governor Walz, took the next logical step. On Thursday afternoon they agreed to called in 500 National Guardsmen. Minneapolis and St. Paul that joined the request are about to become garrison towns--an armed encampment.
Meanwhile, Black State Attorney General Keith Ellison, was on the phone getting Jessie Jackson to come up from Chicago. The Black community is getting ready to get hit with a two-by-four on the one hand, and Jackson's sweet talk to calm down and let the system work.
The "resistance" should reject them both. The system is working just like it was designed to. State-sanctioned violence and the systemic use of terror against Black people has always been and will remain the design of the law enforcement and judicial system until the system is ended.
The Black fight back in Minneapolis is of great importance. It’s not the rocks and bottles and trashing of police cars that’s important, although that's hardly insignificant. Community consciousness about the role of state-sanctioned violence, and the function of the police and the courts as the oppressive wing of the state apparatus was raised during the Black Lives Matter resistance movement that peaked between 2014—2016.
It’s important that Black people across the country support the Black community in Minneapolis and express solidarity with their struggle for two reasons: this fight is just getting started, and they are Right to Rebel!