By Melissa Macaya, Elise Hammond and Mike Hayes, CNN
Minneapolis, Minnesota Police Chief Medaria Arradondo acknowledged his department’s role in the “deficit of hope” in the city following the death of George Floyd.
“I’m absolutely. Sorry for the pain, the devastation trauma,” Arradondo said at a briefing Thursday.
Arradondo said criminal behavior will not be allowed in the city.
“I cannot allow criminal acts to threaten the safety and also the trauma that already exist,” says Arradondo.
“Crowds got large and became more mobile,” Arradondo said.
The majority of demonstrators last night were gathering peacefully but there was a “core group” that was looting and engaging in other criminal acts, according to Arradondo.
“The people that were involved in the criminal conduct” were not known to local community leaders, Arradondo said.
There were minor injuries reported among community members but nothing significant, he said.
One of the four officers fired for his involvement in the death of George Floyd was part of a 2017 excessive force lawsuit that was settled by the city of Minneapolis, according to a settlement obtained by CNN and confirmed by the attorney for the plaintiff in the case.
Both the city and the officers denied liability in the settlement, according to a statement from the city.
Former Minneapolis police officer Tou Thao was named in a lawsuit stemming from the 2014 arrest of Lamar Ferguson. CNN has not yet determined who is legally representing Thao.
Ferguson was subjected to “cruel and unusual punishment” by Thao and another officer during his arrest in an alley on October 7, 2014 on a warrant, according to the suit.
The lawsuit claimed that the officers used “unreasonable force” during the arrest in the form of “punches, kicks and knees to the face and body while Ferguson was defenseless and handcuffed.” Ferguson suffered broken teeth, bruising, and trauma as a result of the arrest, according to the lawsuit.
Ferguson was walking home from his grandmother’s house with his pregnant girlfriend when they were approached by a Minneapolis police car with Thao and the other officer inside. The officers allegedly put Ferguson in handcuffs behind his back and took his wallet with his identification out of his pocket, according to the lawsuit.
The second officer took the ID to run it through the the National Crime Information Center but no warrant showed up in the system, the lawsuit said. The second officer “falsely stated that there was a warrant out for Plaintiff’s arrest,” the lawsuit said, prior to the alleged physical attack occurring.
The lawsuit was settled by the city of Minneapolis on December 11, 2017 by payment of $25,000 to Lamar Ferguson and his attorneys, according to the settlement.
CNN’s Pierre Meilhan contributed to this report.
23 min ago
Minneapolis, Minnesota, Mayor Jacob Frey said the city will now begin an “all-out effort to restore peace and security in our city.”
This comes after demonstrators protested Monday’s death of George Floyd, a black man who died after pleading for help after a police officer pinned him – unarmed and handcuffed – to the ground.
Frey said at a press conference on Thursday that he has authorized a “unified command structure” that would allow Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo to use resources and personnel from other jurisdictions.
The city has also requested support from the state, Frey said.
On infrastructure and damage: The second night of protests transitioned to rioting and looting over a few blocks south of downtown, with people smashing their way into stores and setting businesses and other buildings ablaze.
Frey said protecting this infrastructure and the community is important especially during the coronavirus pandemic.
“Our communities need these assets especially during a pandemic. Our communities need grocery stores for food, they need banks for cash. We need pharmacies for needed medications,” he said.
“Let’s hold these communities dear by doing right by them and by safe guarding them and these community assets that we know they need especially during a pandemic. We need to offer radical love and compassion that we all have in us. I believe in the city and I know you do, too,” Frey added.
George Floyd’s family said the violence and looting occurring in the demonstrations “distract from the strength of our collective voice,” according to a statement released in a series of tweets from Ben Crump, lawyer for the family.
The family thanked “every person who is standing with them” and urged protesters to not “sink to the level of our oppressors.”
The statement also said the family “wants peace in Minneapolis.”
Read the full statement below:
Responding to a question about the death of George Floyd, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he thinks there is a criminal case against the law enforcement officer.
“If I was a prosecutor, I would be looking at that case from the first moment because I think there is a criminal case there,” Cuomo said at his daily coronavirus press briefing on Thursday.
“I think the situation was so disturbing and ugly and frightening, just frightening, that a law enforcement officer in this country could act that way,” he said.
“How many times do we have to learn the same lesson?” he added.
There were about 30 fires, including at least 16 structure fires, during protests in Minneapolis, Minnesota last night over the death of George Floyd, the city’s fire department said in a statement.
“Multiple fire department apparatus suffered damage from rocks and other projectiles thrown at the responding vehicles,” the statement said.
The “fire events” were intentional and no injuries were reported as a result of the fires, the fire department said.
“Crews continue to respond and extinguish fires along Lake St E at this time,” the statement said.