If you have been paying any attention to recent news stories throughout the country, you will likely have heard about the wrongful death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota this past week. Floyd, a black American, was manhandled by a white police officer while in custody and later died from his injuries.
Unsurprisingly this has caused mass chaos in the city, with thousands protesting in the streets.
It started out innocent enough, with people exercising their First Amendment rights outside the Minneapolis Police Department’s third precinct, where the officers involved in Floyd’s death worked until Tuesday afternoon. But things soon turned ugly as protestors began to break windows, spray paint police cars, deface the building, and throw rocks and other debris at the police officers trying to contain the situation.
The police officers returned in kind. According to the Star Tribune, “Police responded by firing chemical irritants and flash-bang devices, and sending groups scattering to a nearby Target and Arby’s, some getting milk to pour into their stinging eyes.”
But that was far from the end of the evening’s pandemonium. It was reported from all over town that riots were breaking out, with protestors looting and causing extensive property damage.
A fire was started in a local AutoZone, as well as other buildings. Target was practically emptied of all merchandise, even the store’s lights and computers were stolen. It seemed no business was safe from the destruction, including local charter schools.
Obviously, with so much going on at once, the police, who were already under attack from protestors, could do little to help their community. Firefighters and law enforcement all over the city reported being attacked for just trying to do their jobs.
As many social media users noted, this turned from a simple protest into something that had very little, if anything, to do with George Floyd or his death.
But that didn’t stop the local chapter of Democratic Socialists of America from encouraging such acts of violence and mayhem.
The Twin Cities DSA even tweeted that their “comrades” protesting in the streets needed help. They posted a list of supplies that the protestors wanted more of, which included things like sticks, plywood for shields, rackets, and first aid.
“Want to help out your comrades protesting at the 3rd precinct? Here’s a list of much-needed supplies…”
And guess who retweeted this, contributing to the chaos? Ilhan Omar’s very own daughter. Omar is a House representative for Minnesota’s 5th Congressional District, which includes parts of Minneapolis.
Now, I completely understand being angry about Floyd’s supposed murder or wrongful death. I also support protesting and using your First Amendment rights for such purposes. The men involved and their commanding officers need to know that their community will not tolerate behavior like this and that justice must be served. Wearing a badge and gun does not give anyone the right to do whatever they want or give in to their racist thoughts.
However, what in the world does starting fires at AutoZone or stealing TVs from Target have to do with getting that justice? Nothing. Absolutely nothing.
Neither does looting and destroying the countless other businesses around the community. The people who work and make a living in these stores are fellow Americans just trying to make ends meet. They are hardworking citizens who don’t have a single connection to the police department as a whole, let alone the immediate officers involved.
Thankfully, there are those in the city who are willing to stand up and fight for what is right.
Two men, in particular, used their Second Amendment rights to ensure that not everyone would be looted. The two men, who chose to remain anonymous, armed themselves and made a stand against looters in front of a few local stores and businesses that were under attack, saying, “Before there were cops, there were just Americans. So here we are.”
One added, “you’ve seen the records the cops keep and the cops are a lot less likely to tread on people’s rights when there’s other armed Americans with them. So we figured it’s about damn time… for some heavily armed rednecks stood with fellow citizens.”
They noted that while they could not tolerate the crimes being committed in the city, that didn’t mean they didn’t want justice for Floyd. “Bottom line: justice for George Floyd but I hope they stop looting at some point.”
But if justice for Floyd isn’t served soon, the looting and protesting may be a continuous fight for the city.