Lawmakers calling for peace after days of protests
UPDATED 5:00 PM PT — Saturday, May 30, 2020
Lawmakers have called for an end to the protests that gripped the nation this weekend. On Friday, Minnesota Governor Tim Walz announced the city of Minneapolis had descended into “chaos” and urged residents to restore peace.
“If you care about your community, you have got to put this to an end,” stated Walz. “It needs to stop.”
Minnesotans, please go home. It’s time to restore peace on our streets and in our neighborhoods. The situation has become dangerous for Minnesotans and first responders.
— Governor Tim Walz (@GovTimWalz) May 30, 2020
Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey added protesters shouldn’t be taking their frustrations out on innocent bystanders and businesses.
“We as a city are so much more than this, we as a city can be so much better than this,” he said. “There is no honor in burning down your city, there is no pride in looting local businesses that have become institutions of a neighborhood.”
Minnesota Guardsmen are reporting for duty from across the state to be ready to assist local authorities in restoring order and maintaining peace. pic.twitter.com/hHdrFjcVEQ
— MN National Guard (@MNNationalGuard) May 30, 2020
However, protests quickly spread out of Minneapolis and, by Friday night, more than two dozen cities had reported widespread demonstrations.
In Southern California, protesters stopped traffic on a major freeway in Los Angeles, while some were detained for throwing rocks at police. California Governor Gavin Newsom has since said his heart goes out to the Floyd family and urged protesters to stay non-violent.
“Let us commit ourselves to that, in the spirit of this moment and the spirit of this weekend,” stated Newsom. “I pray that all of us who want to express ourselves do so thoughtfully and gently, but forcefully, in terms of expressing themselves, as they should and as they must.”
When will it end?
We are faced with that question over and over again.
The structural racism in our society persists. Our incapacity to wake up to that reality continues.
— Gavin Newsom (@GavinNewsom) May 29, 2020
After protesters clashed with police outside of the CNN headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia Governor George Kemp sent in the National Guard to assist local law enforcement.
— Governor Brian P. Kemp (@GovKemp) May 30, 2020
Meanwhile, protesters have said bringing in the National Guard will only increase tensions. Atlanta Chief of Police Erika Shields agreed.
“I’m standing here because what I saw was my people face-to-face with this crowd, and everybody’s thinking, ‘How can we use force to diffuse it?’” she said. “I’m not having that.”
Crisis management lesson from Chief of @Atlanta_Police Erika Shields
•Asked officers to not disperse crowds
•Walked to crowds to speak with them, humanizing them/showing empathy
•Brought African American officer’s forward to establish community trust#atlanta #MinneapolisRiot pic.twitter.com/pKzFPNCBbm
— Zaid Al-Hamdan (@zaidm_alhamdan) May 30, 2020
Officials have said they are hoping the arrest of former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin will eventually lead to the end of the violence before it escalates further.