The Latest: Governor: State taking over response to protests

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The Latest on the death of George Floyd, a handcuffed black man who pleaded for air as a white police officer knelt on his neck (all times local):

12:05 p.m.

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz is acknowledging the “abject failure” of the response to this week’s protests over the death of George Floyd.

During news conference on Friday, Walz said the state would take over the response. He says it’s time to show respect and dignity to those who are suffering called for order to be restored. He also called for swift justice for officers involved in the Floyd’s death. The handcuffed black man pleaded for air as a white officer knelt on his neck.

Walz’s comments came after protesters torched a police station that officers abandoned during a third night of violence.

Livestream video showed protesters entering the building, where intentionally set fires activated smoke alarms and sprinklers.

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11:30 a.m.

Attorneys for the families of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor are calling for an independent investigation of the actions leading to Floyd’s death.

They also want national reforms in response to the three deaths.

Attorney Ben Crump said during a news conference Friday that he’s asked to take custody of Floyd’s body for an independent autopsy. He and attorney Lee Merritt said they want murder charges brought against the four Minneapolis police officers involved in Floyd’s arrest. And they want the Minnesota attorney general to take over the investigation.

Crump says the families from Georgia, Kentucky and now Minnesota have all had to dispel narratives from law enforcement that their loved ones “brought this upon themselves.” They cited an initial report in Floyd’s case that said he threatened police and died of a medical condition.

Videos show an officer kneeling on the back of Floyd’s neck as the handcuffed black man pleads for air.

The attorneys said they’ll seek national legislation seeking better training and to lower the burden to charge officers for excessive force.

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11 a.m.

A now-fired police officer and a black man who died in his custody both worked as security guards at a popular Latin nightclub as recently as the end of last year. But the club’s former owner says it’s not clear whether they knew each other.

Officer Derek Chauvin worked at the El Nuevo Rodeo club as off-duty security for nearly two decades. Maya Santamaria told The Associated Press that George Floyd had worked there only more recently for about a dozen events that featured African American music.

Santamaria says she doesn’t believe the two knew each other before their encounter Monday night when the officer was seen on cellphone video kneeling on Floyd’s neck. Santamaria says that if the officer had recognized Floyd, “He might have given him a little more mercy.”

Santamaria sold the venue within the past two months. She says Chauvin got along well with the regular Latino customers, but didn’t like to work the African American nights. When he did, and there was a fight, he would spray people with mace and call for police backup. She says a half dozen squad cars would soon show up, something she felt was unjustified “overkill.

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10:50 a.m.

Albuquerque police used a helicopter and tear gas to disperse a crowd of people following a confrontation during a protest over the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody.

The Albuquerque Police Department said on Twitter that the gathering was dispersed after several police cars had windows broken out during an confrontation with “an angry mob.” Department spokesman Gilbert Gallegos said no injuries were reported.

It was one of several protests around the U.S. over Floyd’s death. The handcuffed black man pleaded for air as a white police officer knelt on his neck.

Albuquerque police said four people were taken into custody near the protest after gunshots were fired from a vehicle. There were no reports of injuries from the gunshots and it wasn’t clear whether that incident was related to the protest.

Gallegos said the police car windows were broken when several protesters surrounded the vehicles following the arrests of people allegedly involved in the gunfire.

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10:15 a.m.

A group of about 10 protesters have gathered near a Florida town home that belongs to a white Minneapolis police officer who knelt on George Floyd’s neck.

The protesters gathered Friday after social media postings that listed the address of Derek Chauvin in the community of address Windermere outside Orlando.

They’re carrying sings that say, “He said I can’t breathe. Justice for George,” and “We see you, we hear you … we love you! #Justice for George.” The handcuffed black man pleaded for air as a white police officer knelt on his neck during an arrest recorded on vide by bystanders.

The Orange County Sheriff’s Office tweeted from its official account that Chauvin is not at the residence and is not expected there. The office says it’s confirmed he has no plans to be in the area.

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10 a.m.

Nine people were arrested after rocks were thrown at businesses, vehicles and officers during a Southern California protest stemming from the death of a black man in Minneapolis police custody.

The violence erupted Thursday night in Fontana as about 100 people moved up and down a thoroughfare and blocked traffic. Police say an unlawful assembly was declared and the crowd was ordered to disperse but some persisted.

Elsewhere in the region, demonstrators gathered outside Los Angeles police headquarters but there was no repeat of Wednesday evening’s action in which protesters blocked freeway traffic and attacked two Highway Patrol cruisers.

Fontana is an inland city about 50 miles (80) kilometers east of Los Angeles.

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7 a.m.

Thick smoke is hovering over Minneapolis after cheering protesters torched a police station that officers abandoned.

The fire came during a third night of violent protests flared over the death of George Floyd. The handcuffed black man pleaded for air as a white police officer knelt on his neck.

The focus of many of the protests has been the 3rd Precinct station. A spokesman says police abandoned it late Thursday to protect employees.

Livestream video shows protesters entering the building, where intentionally set fires activated smoke alarms and sprinklers.

Categories: National News

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