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Minneapolis 3rd Police Precinct On Fire After Officers Evacuate Building Amid George Floyd Riots

Screenshot Twitter Julio Rosas

Shelby Talcott Media Reporter
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The 3rd Police Precinct in Minneapolis, Minnesota, was set on fire Thursday evening after police evacuated the building amid continued protests over George Floyd’s death.

Protests quickly escalated after Floyd, a black man, died Monday after being detained by police. Video footage showed an officer stepping on Floyd’s neck as he cried out that he could not breath. Protests began Tuesday following his death and continued to escalate, with buildings being burned to the ground and others being looted.

Townhall reporter Julio Rosas was on the ground Thursday evening and tweeted that officers had “abandoned” the building. Shortly after, Rosas said rioters managed to break through, but retreated as police set tear gas off in the building. A video shows officers being chased by rioters as they left the area.

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Moments later, CNN reported that the 3rd Police Precinct was on fire. CNN reported that it was unclear where the officers were and that there was no police presence, adding that cheers could be heard from the crowd as the precinct burned.

The Minneapolis police confirmed that officers had evacuated the building in a statement Thursday evening, FOX9 reporter Theo Keith tweeted.

“Shortly after 10:00 pm tonight, in the interest of the safety of our personnel, the Minneapolis Police Department evacuated the 3rd Precinct of its staff,” the statement reads. “Protesters forcibly entered the building and have ignited several fires. No further information is available.”

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The fire quickly spread across the entire building, according to Fox9 executive producer Seth Kaplan. The producer noted that no firefighters were on the scene yet, and speculated that the “building will likely be destroyed tonight.”

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Numerous buildings were destroyed Wednesday evening, including a Target, an AutoZone and a construction site that was reportedly set to be the new home of low-income housing units.

Following a third night of protests, the Minnesota National Guard was deployed, according to a tweet. The national guard tweeted that it had “activated more than 500 soldiers to St. Paul, Minneapolis and surrounding communities” as of Thursday evening.

“Our mission is to protect life, preserve property and the right to peacefully demonstrate,” the Minnesota National Guard tweeted. “A key objective is to ensure fire departments are able to respond to calls.” (RELATED: Minneapolis Burns As Looters Take To The Streets Following Protests Over Death Of George Floyd)

Democratic Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey asked for the state to deploy the National Guard following Wednesday’s escalation, which turned deadly according to NBC News. The 3rd precinct has been the center of the protests, Fox9 previously reported.