Protests across the city of Minneapolis have escalated into violence and mayhem, following the death of unarmed black man George Floyd, who died after pleading that he couldn’t breathe, while a police officer held him down with a knee on his neck.
On Friday morning Australian time, Today show cameras and reporter Tim Arvier captured live what happened in the aftermath of a stabbing, involving a white man allegedly stabbing a black man among the chaos.
For 20 minutes, a crowd gathered around the stabbed man, trying to save his life while another group held the alleged offender nearby.
For 20 minutes, no medical attention was available.
For 20 minutes, police – located just 100 metres away at the nearby precinct, which had been barricaded up following rioting overnight – stayed away.
When they finally did arrive, they were met with hostility.
After they arrested the alleged offender – who sat shirtless on the ground and offered no resistance – and loaded the stabbing victim into the back of a police vehicle for medical attention, the crowd threw rocks and bricks.
Police responded with tear gas, stun guns and rubber bullets, before again retreating.
“It’s like a modern day war zone,” Today co-host Karl Stefanovic said.
Meanwhile, looting of nearby businesses, which began overnight, continued.
As the violence erupted, in the background of the Today footage, people walked away with trolleys and shelving full of food and other supplies taken from stores like Target and supermarkets.
“Does not support a criminal charge.”
Around the same time of the above incidents, Hennepin County Attorney Michael Freeman said the officers involved in George Floyd’s arrest may not face criminal charges.
They were fired earlier this week.
Hennepin County Attorney Michael Freeman said at a press conference, the video of Floyd’s final moments was “graphic, horrible and terrible” but he also said criminal charges against the police officers, including Derek Chauvin, the man who knelt on Floyd’s neck, may not be filed.
He said he and other law enforcement agencies were working hard to establish the facts of the case.
“But there is other evidence that does not support a criminal charge,” he said, refusing to disclose information about this evidence when prompted by reporters.
Following the conference, the prosecutor’s office issued a press release to ‘clarify’ what he meant.
“To clarify, County Attorney Freeman was saying that it is critical to review all the evidence between at the time of trial, invariably, all that information will be used.”
The video, which went viral after Floyd died on Monday, shows the officer, identified as Chauvin, hold Floyd down as he moans, calls for his mother and yells that he can’t breathe.