Minneapolis police moved into a protesters encampment early on Thursday morning and told them they had ten minutes to disperse or be arrested. The protesters have been demonstrating for 19 days over the shooting of a black man by police.
Early on Thursday morning, Minneapolis police, dressed in full tactical riot gear, moved in to clear out and tear down an encampment that had been set up by hundreds of protesters. Police first approached the encampment and served eviction notices. When the protesters refused to clear out, the police moved in and began to forcibly make arrests.
The police told the protesters that fires or any kind of permanent structure would not be allowed on city property especially if it all interfered with traffic flow or with the entrance to the police station opposite the protesters’ encampment, according to USA Today.
The protests in Minneapolis began when a young black man, Jamar Clark, 24, was shot and killed by police. The police said Clark was interfering with paramedics at a domestic disturbance scene while other witnesses to the incident said that Clark was handcuffed when the police killed him. The protesters have been gathered directly across the street from Minneapolis Precinct Four police station for the last 19 days. They have been protesting the shooting of Clark and have also demanded that the video of the shooting by police be revealed to the public.
Neighbors in the area took their concerns and their complaints to a Minneapolis City Council meeting on Wednesday night. They complained about the damage and the noise being caused by the demonstrators and asked the city council to do something about it. The police arrived at 4 AM Central on Thursday morning and gave the protesters ten minutes to disperse or be arrested.
After the encampment was cleared, police brought in small Bobcats and bulldozers to clear away food and trash as well as to destroy the fire pits that had been erected. Police had moved in with 100 officers to clear out 40 or 50 protesters who had been permanently encamped. The police at the Fourth Precinct had also been complaining that their response times have more than doubled since the protesters began blocking the entrance to the station house 19 days ago.