Minneapolis 3rd Precinct Falls to Rioters, Civil Unrest Continues Following Death of George Floyd

May 29, 2020Joshua Skovlund
minneapolis 3rd precinct

On Thursday at approximately 10 PM CDT, 3rd Precinct Minneapolis police officers announced over the radio that they had lost their building. The police evacuated the precinct and boarded busses to leave the area. Coffee or Die learned of the intention to abandon the precinct earlier that afternoon, suggesting the move was calculated.

Shortly after the police evacuated, protesters broke down the barriers that were still standing and set the precinct on fire. Video footage flooded social media, showing rioters entering the burning precinct and looting what was left. Rioters were later seen carrying out police vests and riot gear. Approximately 90 minutes after the breach, the City of Minneapolis warned that a gas line at the precinct may have been cut. 

Protesters outside of the 3rd Precinct. Photo by Joshua Skovlund/Coffee or Die.

The rioting spread across the city into downtown Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota, and throughout the country with riots occurring in California, Ohio, Colorado, and New York. The protesters have maintained their message against police brutality but changed their chant from “I can’t breathe” to “We can’t breathe.”

Nearly 200 buildings across the greater Twin Cities have been set ablaze, sustaining millions of dollars in damage in the two nights since George Floyd’s death. Looting is an ongoing problem for many businesses as well as private homes. 

“Say his name” sign held proudly by protesters. Photo by Joshua Skovlund/Coffee or Die.

Two C-130’s brought in U.S. military troops under the call signs Viking 61 and Viking 62. The Minnesota National Guard tweeted, “We have activated more than 500 soldiers to St. Paul, Minneapolis and surrounding communities. Our mission is to protect life, preserve property and the right to peacefully demonstrate. A key objective is to ensure fire departments are able to respond to calls.”  

President Donald Trump called for expediting the investigation into the four officers involved in the death of Floyd and indicated an escalation of violence in the face of looting. Trump tweeted, “These THUGS are dishonoring the memory of George Floyd, and I won’t let that happen. Just spoke to Governor Tim Walz and told him that the Military is with him all the way. Any difficulty and we will assume control but, when the looting starts, the shooting starts.” 

The tweet was later flagged by Twitter as glorifying violence.

3rd Precinct Minneapolis officers on top of the precinct building. On Thursday, the precinct was overrun by rioters and set on fire. Photo by Joshua Skovlund/Coffee or Die.

He followed with another tweet, targeting the mayor of Minneapolis, Jacob Frey: “I can’t stand back & watch this happen to a great American City, Minneapolis. A total lack of leadership. Either the very weak Radical Left Mayor, Jacob Frey, get his act together and bring the City under control, or I will send in the National Guard & get the job done right.”

Since Trump’s notification on twitter, additional deaths and continued looting have been reported through ShotSpotter activations and radio traffic over both Minneapolis and St. Paul police departments’ channels. The National Guard is co-located with the Minneapolis Fire Department and issued this statement on Twitter: “We are here with the Minneapolis Fire Department ready to assist so they can safely do their mission.”

Joshua Skovlund
Joshua Skovlund

Joshua Skovlund is a former staff writer for Coffee or Die. He covered the 75th anniversary of D-Day in France, multinational military exercises in Germany, and civil unrest during the 2020 riots in Minneapolis. Born and raised in small-town South Dakota, he grew up playing football and soccer before serving as a forward observer in the US Army. After leaving the service, he worked as a personal trainer while earning his paramedic license. After five years as in paramedicine, he transitioned to a career in multimedia journalism. Joshua is married with two children.

More from Coffee or Die Magazine
Coffee Or Die Photo
From the Team Room to Team Room Design: An Operator’s Creative Journey

BRCC partners with Team Room Design for an exclusive T-shirt release!

Coffee Or Die Photo
Get Your Viking On: The Exclusive 30 Sec Out BRCC Shirt Club Design

Thirty Seconds Out has partnered with BRCC for an exclusive shirt design invoking the God of Winter.

Grizzly Forge BRCC shirt
Limited Edition: Grizzly Forge Blades on an Awesome BRCC Shirt

Lucas O'Hara of Grizzly Forge has teamed up with BRCC for a badass, exclusive Shirt Club T-shirt design featuring his most popular knife and tiomahawk.

BRCC Limited Edition Josh Raulerson Blackbeard Skull Shirt
From Naval Service to Creative Canvas: BRCC Veteran Artist Josh Raulerson

Coffee or Die sits down with one of the graphic designers behind Black Rifle Coffee's signature look and vibe.

Medal of Honor is held up.
Biden Will Award Medal of Honor to Army Helicopter Pilot Who Rescued Soldiers in Vietnam Firefight

Biden will award the Medal of Honor to a Vietnam War Army helicopter pilot who risked his life to save a reconnaissance team from almost certain death.

dear jack mandaville
Dear Jack: Which Historic Battle Would You Want To Witness?

Ever wonder how much Jack Mandaville would f*ck sh*t up if he went back in time? The American Revolution didn't even see him coming.

west point time capsule
West Point Time Capsule Yields Centuries-Old Coins

A nearly 200-year-old West Point time capsule that at first appeared to yield little more than dust contains hidden treasure, the US Military Academy said.

  • About Us
  • Privacy Policy
  • Careers
Contact Us
Contact Us
© 2024 Coffee or Die Magazine. All Rights Reserved