THE Minnesota governor had to deploy the National Guard after two nights of violence over the death of George Floyd this week.
Gov. Tim Walz called in the troops on Thursday as looting broke out in St. Paul and a wounded Minneapolis braced for more violence after rioting over Floyd's brutal arrest in Minneapolis.
His emergency decision comes after Officer Derek Chauvin was filmed kneeling on Floyd's neck as the black man shouted "I can't breathe" on Monday, prompting widespread protests.
Walz appealed to residents to stop the violence in a Twitter statement this evening.
"As George Floyd’s family has said, he 'would not want people to get hurt. He lived his life protecting people,'" he wrote.
"Let’s come together to rebuild, remember, and seek justice for George Floyd. As Governor, I will always defend the right to protest.
"It is how we express pain, process tragedy, and create change. That is why I am answering our local leaders’ request for Minnesota National Guard assistance to protect peaceful demonstrators, neighbors, and small businesses in Minnesota."
Unrest ravaged several blocks in the Longfellow neighborhood, with scattered rioting reaching for miles across the city before Walz made the decision.
It was the second consecutive night of violent protests following Floyd's death, who gasped for breath as Chauvin was videoed kneeling on his neck for eight minutes.
Floyd can be heard pleading that he cant breathe until he slowly stops talking and moving in the widely shared shocking footage.
On Thursday evening, another protest was announced in downtown Minneapolis.
This prompted some stores in Minneapolis and the suburbs to shutter early as they feared more riots were on the horizon.
The light-rail system was shut down, and all bus services are set to stop as protests continue in the Minnesota city.
Earlier today, at around midday, the violence spread to a Target in St. Paul's Midway neighborhood, where cops found around 60 people trying to loot it.
They blocked the entrance as the looting moved to shops along nearby University Avenue, one of St. Pauls main commercial corridors, and other parts of Minneapolis this afternoon.
St Paul spokesman Steve Linders said authorities have been dealing with unrest in roughly 20 different areas throughout the city since Floyd's untimely death.
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"Please stay home," St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter tweeted.
"Please do not come here to protest. Please keep the focus on George Floyd, on advancing our movement and on preventing this from ever happening again."
"We can all be in that fight together," Carter begged, as violence continued to ravage the city.