Police chief says protesters ‘targeted officers with commercial grade fireworks’ during precinct vandalism

"Individuals marched to the Minneapolis Police Department’s 5th Precinct and proceeded to vandalize the exterior of the building and target officers with commercial grade fireworks."

Protesters outside the Minneapolis Police Department’s Fifth Precinct building shot fireworks at officers, threw rocks at the station, splattered fake blood on the ground, and egged the windows Saturday night. 

Roughly 50 people, some wearing Antifa masks, protested outside the police station, launching objects and vandalizing the building with anti-police messages. Commercial-grade fireworks had been fired by protesters, though no officers were injured.

Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo thanked the protesters who assembled peacefully, and threatened those who would “hijack” peaceful protests with the full extent of the law.

“Last night, individuals marched to the Minneapolis Police Department’s 5th Precinct and proceeded to vandalize the exterior of the building and target officers with commercial grade fireworks. This unlawful and senseless behavior will not be tolerated. Acts such as these do absolutely nothing to constructively engage and activate true and real needed reforms,” Chief Arradondo said in a statement.

“The vast majority of the men and women of the MPD who continue to come to work each day and night are doing so to keep all our communities safe and make a positive difference. I support them and their efforts working professionally during this pandemic, amidst an increase in violent crime and as we diligently press forward in creating a new MPD in partnership with our communities,” he continued. 

An unidentified helicopter was seen circling over the station Sunday night, but many assume it was operated by police. During that night, reports came out of 25 people marching to around the same area as Saturday’s protest, blocking traffic. 

The Minnesota Police and Peace Officers Assocation said a Black Lives Matter rally held earlier in the day “fueled the fire” for Saturday night’s damage.

We coming for everything that you motherf–ers took from us,” John Thompson, a DFL candidate for House District 67A, said during the rally.

Blue lives ain’t s–,” he added, threatening to burn down the city of Hugo. The rally was held outside the home of Minneapolis police union leader Bob Kroll.

This all comes at a time when the Minneapolis City Council is looking to replace the police department and Mayor Jacob Frey expects 100 officers to leave by the end of the year.