The White House is reportedly under lockdown due to nearby protesters. The report from WGAL comes as an increasing number of protests and marches have erupted across the U.S. in response to the death of George Floyd, who died in police custody while being arrested on Monday.
While there had been reports of looting, things escalated dramatically on Thursday night, when the 3rd District police station was set on fire. As news of the incident spread, President Donald Trump took to Twitter to call the protesters "thugs" who were "dishonoring the memory of George Floyd." He also added that "any difficulty and we will assume control but, when the looting starts, the shooting starts." Minnesota Governor Tim Walz signed an executive order Thursday to activate the state's National Guard, which the president celebrated.
When he wasn't announcing the U.S. withdrawal from the World Health Organization, Trump spent some time attempting to walk back his late-night tweets Friday, including the comment about "when the looting starts, the shooting starts," a now-infamous quote from the former head of the Miami Police Department. "Looting leads to shooting, and that's why a man was shot and killed in Minneapolis on Wednesday night — or look at what just happened in Louisville with 7 people shot," the president tweeted.
Trump also clarified that the didn't "want this to happen, and that's what the expression put out last night means." He added the comments were "spoken as a fact, not as a statement," and that "it's very simple, nobody should have any problem with this other than the haters, and those looking to cause trouble on social media." On Wednesday, Trump announced that he'd requested the FBI and the Department of Justice to investigate Floyd's death.
Friday also saw the release of Floyd's official autopsy report from the Hennepin County Medical Examiner, though some found the findings to be dubious at best. The results deemed that being restrained by Minneapolis Police "likely contributed to his death," though Floyd's underlying health conditions and any "potential intoxicants" that may have been in his system were also cited as a possible cause. While the report listed "no physical findings that support a diagnosis of traumatic asphyxia or strangulation," the family will be seeking a second opinion on the matter.
Chauvin, the arresting officer who can be seen placing his knee on Floyd's back for several minutes, was fired from the police force on Tuesday and eventually arrested on Friday on charges of second-degree murder and manslaughter on Friday. The other three officers, Tou Thao, Thomas Lane and J. Alexander Kueng, have not been arrested as of Friday.