No curfew for Friday night in the Twin Cities

State troopers walk up an empty street.
Minnesota state troopers walk up an empty Marquette Avenue on Thursday during the second night of curfew in Minneapolis.
Matt Sepic | MPR News

Updated: 3:48 p.m.

Minneapolis and St. Paul do not plan to issue curfews for Friday night.

Mayor Jacob Frey announced the decision during a midday press conference, though he added that the city is prepared to change that if looting or vandalism flares up. The Minneapolis City Council also voted to extend the mayor's authority to impose another curfew during the weekend if the need arises.

Minneapolis issued curfews over the past two nights after windows were smashed and several businesses were looted Wednesday evening. St. Paul was under a curfew on Thursday night.

The streets of Minneapolis were calm overnight. Hundreds of National Guard troops assisted police in enforcing a second nighttime curfew, which expired at 6 a.m.

The unrest late Wednesday followed false rumors of a police shooting that turned out to be the apparent suicide of a murder suspect. Police quickly released video of the incident, but large crowds gathered downtown. Mayor Jacob Frey imposed a curfew and Gov. Tim Walz activated the National Guard.

Prosecutors on Friday filed felony charges against 16 people in connection with widespread looting in the Twin Cities Wednesday night — six of whom are from Minneapolis and St. Paul, most of the others hail from Twin Cities suburbs.

They include a 26-year-old Bloomington man charged with burglary and third-degree assault for allegedly looting a Foot Locker store on Seventh Street and then attacking an officer in a parking ramp nearby.

Most of the cases are related to incidents downtown, but four people are facing charges related to a looting incident at a Brooklyn Park liquor store.

Thursday night, the downtown streets were empty except for hundreds of police, soldiers, sheriff's deputies and state troopers. In a news conference earlier in the evening, state Public Safety Commissioner John Harrington said there would be “in excess of 1,000 peace officers” in Minneapolis and St. Paul Thursday night. Around 250 National Guard soldiers are mobilized to support law enforcement in the metro area.

Minneapolis police said officers arrested 30 people in the first hour of the curfew. On Thursday, the State Patrol said that troopers, along with Department of Natural Resources officers, arrested 49 in the city overnight, mostly for curfew violations. Several knives were confiscated.

The Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office reported 132 arrests Wednesday night, which saw groups of people smashing windows and grabbing merchandise from stores on and around Nicollet Mall.

The city is still reeling from the killing of George Floyd, a Black man who was pinned to the ground three months ago by the knee of a white police officer. His killing unleashed largely peaceful protests but also several days of looting, fires and rioting, as well as a national reckoning on race and police reform.

Some activists are calling on state leaders to boost investment in Minnesota's Black community following the unrest. Minneapolis NAACP President Leslie Redmond said Minnesotans shouldn’t forget the deeper context of the unrest, which she says stretches generations, well before the killing of Floyd. 

”People in Minnesota have gone for far too long living without having to acknowledge the oppression and the hurt that the Black community has suffered from,” Redmond said. “Instead of just dealing with the fruit, we have to start dealing with the root.” 

She said it's well-established that Minnesota has some of the worst disparities between Black and white residents in the country. 

"I really want city officials and state officials and decision-makers to really take the energy and urgency [to] dealing with the root issues of white supremacy and poverty, the same way they respond when property is at risk," Redmond said. “Create a sustainable plan to help the Black community flourish and actually be able to help themselves.”

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