Minneapolis Police Station Set on Fire as Protests Continue Following George Floyd Killing

Following the death of George Floyd, a black man who was arrested by Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin — who has now been charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter — the city lit up in riots. Looters broke their way through corporate business likes Target and AutoZone not only stealing merchandise but setting fire to some, including the Third Precinct police station. During that time, officers were inside and on the roof.

Rioters broke through around 10 p.m. local time following the actions of police on the rooftop who attempted to disperse the crowd by using "flash bang" shots and tear gas according to Fox News. When they broke in, they set fire to the building causing those on the roof to be rescued by helicopter. Shortly after, looters were warned about a possible explosion that could take place out of speculation that a gas line may have been cut in the process. During that time, the fire department was working to set out fires across the city, unable to attend several, including at the police station. As a result, Mayor Jacob Frey urged people not to stand around the precinct, calling for unity. "We all need to work together to ensure the safety of our friends, family, and Minneapolis residents," he said. "And right now working together means clearing the area."

Chauvin was officially charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter on Friday. It was announced by Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman shortly after Chauvin's arrest. In Minnesota, murder in the third degree is defined as involving the killing of a person without premeditation and intent through an "eminently dangerous" act "without regard for human life" according to attorney Aaron Hall's website. This could result in up to 25 years in prison for Chauvin. He also was charged with manslaughter which is an unlawful killing that does not involve malice aforethought. In the state, according to JS Defense, there are two classifications of manslaughter. First-degree manslaughter carries a sentence of up to 15 years in prison, while second-degree manslaughter carries a sentence of up to 10 years in prison.

On the same day that charges were put in place against the officer, Floyd's autopsy report was revealed. The autopsy was conducted by the Hennepin County Medical Examiner on Tuesday and indicates that being restrained by Chauvin "likely contributed to his death" but did not specify if that was the only cause. According to the report, it was "the combined effects of Mr. Floyd being restrained by the police, his underlying health conditions and any potential intoxications in his system likely contributed to his death."