UPDATED 7:31 AM PT – Thursday, December 31, 2020
Officials in Minneapolis are urging the public to remain calm following reports that a man died after exchanging gunfire with police.
On Wednesday night, hundreds of protesters reportedly began “chanting and taunting” the officers who were trying to secure the scene of the shooting.
Protesters were quick to link the incident to the death of George Floyd, which happened months earlier, with authorities worried demonstrations may escalate.
“We cannot allow for destructive criminal behavior, our city has gone through too much,” stated Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo. “And so, if in fact those demonstrations or protests should evolve into civil unrest, then I will make the decisions in terms of how we can try to peacefully resolve that.”
Part of the large crowd is surrounding a Minneapolis PD squad off Cedar with chants of “Fu*k 12” and “ACAB”.
Highly organized with like what we saw during the summer.. Many came prepared in gas masks and the usual BLM “marshalls” are watching the crowd, some in yellow vests. pic.twitter.com/mIP74LfVyl
— Rebecca Brannon (@RebsBrannon) December 31, 2020
Initial reports from investigators noted the suspect shot first at the officers before the officers returned fire. The suspect was reported dead at the scene, while the responding officers and a bystander were all uninjured.
So far, the protests have remained peaceful.