By Sandy Malone and Holly Matkin
Minneapolis, MN – The Minneapolis Police Department (MPD) on Wednesday identified the four officers involved in the arrest that left George Floyd dead as hundreds of protesters began rioting outside the 3rd Precinct for the second night in a row.
President Donald Trump tweeted about the action being taken at a federal level on Wednesday evening.
“At my request, the FBI and the Department of Justice are already well into an investigation as to the very sad and tragic death in Minnesota of George Floyd,” President Trump posted.
“I have asked for this investigation to be expedited and greatly appreciate all of the work done by local law enforcement,” he added in another tweet.
The city erected barricades around the 3rd Precinct on Minnehaha Avenue earlier on Wednesday in anticipation of additional protests.
On Tuesday night, protesters with a rock-filled shopping cart smashed out the windows of the Minneapolis Police Department and hurled objects through patrol car windows in an attack that left at least one officer injured.
Many patrol vehicles appear to have been heavily damaged by protesters during the mayhem, multiple videos showed.
The riot erupted just hours after four MPD officers were abruptly fired from the force in connection with the death of 46-year-old Floyd.
Hundreds of people flocked to the 3700-block of Chicago Avenue after Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey encouraged them to attend the planned protest.
On Wednesday, the police department identified the officers involved in the incident as former Minneapolis Police Officers Derek Chauvin, Thomas Lane, Tou Thao, and J. Alexander Kueng, KMSP reported.
But news of the terminations and the confirmation of the officers’ identities did nothing to quell the anger of protesters who videos showed seemed determined to riot in the streets yet again.
Protesters have demanded the immediate arrests of the four officers involved.
On Monday, Floyd was arrested outside a deli after allegedly committing a forgery offense, CBS News reported.
Floyd, who was reportedly under the influence, fought with police for approximately 10 minutes before officers took him to the ground in the roadway.
After wrestling the combative man to the ground, Officer Chauvin knelt on the suspect’s neck to keep him pinned down, cell phone footage showed.
According to the MPD, police noticed that the man “appeared to be suffering from medical distress” after they placed him in handcuffs, so they summoned an ambulance to the scene.
Even after Floyd appeared to lose consciousness, Officer Chauvin continued kneeling on Floyd’s neck until medical personnel arrived, cell phone footage showed.
Floyd was transported to Hennepin County Medical Center, where he later died, the MPD said.
His exact cause of death has not been released, and it is unclear whether any medical issues or substance use may have been contributing factors.
Bystanders at the scene of Floyd’s arrest accused police of “killing” Floyd right in front of them.
“He’s black – they don’t care!” another bystander yelled. “You just killed that n—-r, bro!”
After gathering on Tuesday night outside the deli where the incident occurred, the hoard of demonstrators marched about two miles to the MPD 3rd Precinct, CBS News reported.
“We’re here to let them know this can’t be tolerated, there will be severe consequences if they continue to kill us,” one protester declared, according to CNN. “This will not go on another day.”
The demonstration erupted into chaos as several people wheeled a shopping cart filled with rocks up to the police department and dumped them onto the ground.
Members of the crowd grabbed the rocks and used them to smash the windows out of the building and nearby patrol vehicles.
At least one officer was injured in the attacks on Tuesday night, CBS News reported.
Officers in riot gear deployed tear gas and smoke bombs into the crowd, and flash grenades were also used in an effort to quell the mayhem.
Some of the protesters tossed the gas canisters back at police.
According to MPD Spokesperson John Elder, officers fired “foam marking rounds” at the unruly crowd, but did not fire any rubber bullets, CNN reported.
The marking rounds are used to mark violent instigators in order to make them more identifiable for further investigation, Elder explained.
It is unclear whether or not any demonstrators were arrested during the chaos, CBS News reported.
The MPD initially contacted the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension to handle the investigation into Floyd’s death.
On Tuesday, the FBI also joined the case after “additional information” was made available, the MPD said.
The department did not specify what “additional information” had been received.
The mayor announced the terminations of the officers involved just hours after federal authorities became involved.
During the earlier press conference, Frey said that Floyd’s death was “simply awful” and “wrong at every level,” according to the news outlet.
“For the better part of the night I’ve been trying to find the words to describe what happened and all I keep coming back to is that he should not have died,” the mayor declared. “What we saw was horrible, completely and utterly messed up…This man’s life matters, he matters. He was someone’s son, someone’s family member, someone’s friend. He was a human being and his life mattered.”
The mayor noted that “being black in America should not be a death sentence,” WCCO reported.
“This officer failed in the most basic, human sense,” Frey continued, before issuing a public apology to the suspect’s family. “It serves as a reminder of how far we have to go.”
Police Officers Federation of Minneapolis Lieutenant Bob Kroll said that the union will continue to support the involved officers as the investigation continues.
“Now is not the time rush to judgement and immediately condemn our officers,” Lt. Kroll told WCCO. “An in-depth investigation is underway. Our officers are fully cooperating. We must review all video. We must wait for the medical examiner’s report.”