More on Donald Trump’s tweet that was flagged by Twitter for “glorifying violence”.
Protesters angry over the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody turned out for a demonstration in Columbus that began peacefully but turned violent, leaving smashed storefront windows along downtown streets around the statehouse.
The crowd of around 400 people entered into a standoff with Columbus police Thursday night, blocking the intersection of key streets in the Ohio capital for hours, the Columbus Dispatch reported.
The demonstration began as a peaceful protest, but news outlets reported protesters began throwing objects like water bottles at officers, who responded by using tear gas on the crowd. A scuffle between a protester and an officer broke out around 9:45 pm, WCMH-TV reported.
Some protesters attempted to breach the Ohio Statehouse later Thursday, the TV station reported, sharing photographs of what appeared to be smashed windows at the statehouse.
Calls and emails to Columbus police and the Ohio State Highway Patrol, which covers Capitol security, from The Associated Press weren’t returned overnight.
“I understand why some residents are angry and taking to the streets. I have said many times that racism exists across the country, state and right here in Columbus. We are committed to addressing racism wherever we see it, Mayor Andrew Ginther tweeted before 9 p.m. I respect peaceful protests and ask residents to remain peaceful in their actions tonight and every night.”
Twitter accused President Donald Trump on Friday of “glorifying violence”, attaching a disclaimer to one of his tweets about unrest in Minneapolis that it said broke its rules.
“…These THUGS are dishonoring the memory of George Floyd, and I won*t let that happen. Just spoke to Governor Tim Walz and told him that the Military is with him all the way. Any difficulty and we will assume control but, when the looting starts, the shooting starts. Thank you!” Trump’s tweet read.
Trump’s message can now be read only after clicking on a notice which says: “This Tweet violated the Twitter Rules about glorifying violence. However, Twitter has determined that it may be in the public’s interest for the Tweet to remain accessible.”
In a thread, Twitter said it had taken the action “in the interest of preventing others from being inspired to commit violent acts”. People will still “be able to retweet with comment, but will not be able to like, reply or retweet it.”
Twitter’s action came just hours after Trump said he would introduce legislation that may scrap or weaken a law that has protected internet companies, including Twitter and Facebook , in an extraordinary attempt to regulate social media platforms where he has been criticized.
The proposed legislation is part of an executive order Trump signed on Thursday afternoon. Trump had attacked Twitter for tagging tweets about unsubstantiated claims of fraud about mail-in voting with a warning prompting readers to fact-check the posts.
Below are a selection of images on the events in Minneapolis as there was a third night of unrest in Minneapolis.
Twitter said that it blocked a post by Donald Trump on Twitter for policy violation, “regarding the glorification of violence based on the historical context of the last line”. Below is some more context on the connections associated with it.
Twitter has blocked a post by Donald Trump saying that it violates their policies “regarding the glorification of violence based on the historical context of the last line”.
It said that the tweet’s connection to violence meant there was a “risk it could inspire similar actions today”.
The tweet from Trump said that “thugs” were dishonoring the memory of George Floyd. The last line said said that when “looting starts, shooting starts”.
Protesters torched a Minneapolis police station that the department was forced to abandon as three days of violent protests spread to nearby St Paul and angry demonstrations flared across the US over the death of George Floyd, a handcuffed black man who pleaded for air as a white police officer kneeled on his neck.
A police spokesman confirmed late Thursday that staff had evacuated the 3rd Precinct station, the focus of many of the protests, in the interest of the safety of our personnel” shortly after 10 p.m.
Livestream video showed the protesters entering the building, where fire alarms blared and sprinklers ran as blazes were set.
Protesters could be seen setting fire to a Minneapolis Police Department jacket.
The Guardian’s Chris McGreal has been on the ground and said that there were still people “milling around”.
He said: “Every now and then someone shouts ‘national guard is coming’ and panic ensues and and groups run but mostly it is just people standing around watching buildings burn and occasionally groups of mostly young men targeting different buildings.”
He said there were half a dozen buildings still burning and thousands still around, although he noted the crowd had thinned out. “It’s now 2am or so and there is still extensive looting going on, people continuing to break into businesses.”
However, he added that the “atmosphere has deteriorated”, although earlier it became more aggressive with crowds leaving as they were getting fearful. There is still no sign of law enforcement.
“People are turning up in cars but most of the really big stores have been comprehensively looted by now … I would expect people to be protesting for days to come and the big question is will they send the police out?,” he added.
Around the area is a residential neighbourhood and the fire brigade has turned up to put out fires on the edge of that area. But other areas have just been left to burn. “It is unusual [for the police to evacuate]. I was in Ferguson six years ago during the Michael Brown protest and looting and police did not pull out and it is unusual for them to just simply abandon an area,” he said.
Among those businesses looted it a medical clinic, as well as a Target store which was looted for fizzy drinks and snacks that were then piled up in a carpark by protestors and given to those who needed. “It became an unofficial market for protestors,” McGreal said.
Here is the video of the Minneapolis mayor Jacob Frey responding to those tweets from US president Donald Trump.
The latest from protests in Minneapolis.
That’s all from me for now. I’m going to hand you over to my colleague Sarah Marsh in London. Here’s the latest from the Minneapolis protests:
- Protests against police brutality have continued in cities across the US, including Minneapolis, Denver, New York and Oakland following the killing of George Floyd. Floyd, a 46-year-old black man, died in police custody after a white officer handcuffed hum kneeled on his neck for several minutes as Floyd pleaded that he could not breathe.
- In Minneapolis, police abandoned the 3rd precinct police station, which has been a major protest site. Crowds breached the station and set the entrance on fire. Elsewhere, businesses were looted and blazes set as the evening wore on.
- Donald Trump tweeted about the protests, calling those involved “thugs” and threatening to send in the national guard. Trump described the city’s mayor, Jacob Frey, “very weak” and wrote: “when the looting starts, the shooting starts.”
- In response, to the president’s comments, Frey said during a press briefing: “Weakness is pointing your finger at someone else during a time of crisis.” The city’s mayor said he had ordered the evacuation of officers from the 3rd precinct after reports of “imminent threats to both officers and the public”.
- The Minnesota National Guard sent 500 soldiers to St Paul, Minneapolis and surrounding areas after the state’s governor declared a state of emergency. Governor Walz wrote in the proclamation that he supported peaceful protests but “unfortunately, some individuals have engaged in unlawful and dangerous activity, including arson, rioting, looting, and damaging public and private property”.
- The US attorney’s office and the FBI in Minneapolis said earlier on Thursday they were conducting “a robust criminal investigation” into the death and making the case a priority. The FBI is also investigating, focusing on whether Floyd’s civil rights were violated.
Frey faced questions about the apparent absence of police and the National Guard on the city’s streets. He was pointedly asked by one reporter: “who is in charge?”. He directed questions about the role of police to the city’s commissioner, but called the protests “unacceptable”.
There is a lot of pain and anger right now in our city. I understand that, our entire city recognises that. What we have seen over the past several hours and past several nights in terms of looting is unacceptable. Our community cannot and will not tolerate it … We are working with our officers right now of course, with resources provided by the state … It was clear as of last night [that] we needed additional help and we got that, some form the state and we are expecting more as well.”
Frey, in that press conference just now, also addressed the decision to abandon the city’s third precinct police station. He said he made the order for police to evacuate the building, which it appears has since been significantly damaged by fire, after reports of “imminent threats to both officers and the public”
The symbolism of a building cannot outweigh the importance of the lives of our officers or the public. We could not risk serious injury to anyone and we will continue to parol the third precinct entirely. We will continue to do our jobs in that area. Brick and mortar is not as important as life.”