Posted on May 29, 2020
As Minneapolis burns and as seething racial tensions give way to violence and disorder after the brutal killing of a black citizen by a white police officer, Donald Trump has threatened to turn the guns on those engaged in looting.
Having first referred to Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey as "very weak radical left", he then announced on Twitter that he had told Minnesota Governor Tim Walz that "the military is with him all the way... when the looting starts, the shooting starts".
The speed with which the situation in Minneapolis has gotten out of control, and has spread to other U.S. cities, has taken the President by surprise. In New York City disturbances have been reported and multiple arrests made.
That the protests do not at this point appear to have been organised suggests a powder-keg of resentment and bitterness amongst America's black community that was already about to explode even before the killing of George Floyd, 46, by a police officer, named as Derek Chauvin, who casually asphyxiated him for up to eight minutes.
The Minneapolis Star Tribune has reported that another of the officers involved in the incident was the subject of a lawsuit for excessive force. At the time of writing four officers have been dismissed from the force following the incident, which took place on Monday.
Socio-economic conditions made worse by the current COVID-19 pandemic may have reached critical point, and contributed to the current violence.
At least one person has been shot dead in the disturbances. The incident happened outside a pawn shop: the owner of the store is believed to have fired the fatal shot.
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