As protests continue to erupt in Minneapolis, Minnesota, over the heartbreaking death of George Floyd, a black man who was arrested and pinned down by Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, local business owners, and corporate franchises are left picking up the pieces. As looters took to the streets, stores like Target and AutoZone are vandalized and in ashes over Thursday nights violent protests. However, although merchandise was lost, Target has reached out to make a "heartbroken" statement over the sudden death of Floyd.
"We are heartbroken by the death of George Floyd and the pain it is causing our community," Target spokesperson Danielle Schumann said in a statement, according to Business Insider. "We decided to close our Lake Street store earlier today and worked to ensure all of our team members were accounted for and safe. Our focus will remain on our team members' safety and helping our community heal. Until further notice, our store will remain closed."
Protesters first started gathering Wednesday afternoon near the city's 3rd Precinct station. While stores around were violently burglarized, so was the police station nearby. Late Thursday night, looters set fire to the station after breaking into the precinct around 10 p.m. local time. This followed an attempt by police to disperse the crowd using "flash-bang" shots and tear gas, according to Fox News. After entering the building to set it ablaze, helicopters were used to rescue the officers. Not long after, officials warned rioters about the risk of an explosion because of a potential gas line being hit.
It was announced on Friday that Chauvin has been taken into custody and charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter following the death of Floyd. The charge was announced by Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman just after news broke that the officer had been arrested. The three other officers that were involved in the May 25 killing have not been arrested or charged. A person found guilty of third-degree murder in the state can face up to 25 years in prison. According to the attorney Aaron Hall's website, a murder in the third degree in Minnesota, is defined as involving the killing of a person without premeditation and intent through an "eminently dangerous" act "without regard for human life." As for manslaughter, according to JS Defense, there are two classifications. 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.