MINNEAPOLIS — The prosecution of Derek Chauvin, the fired Minneapolis police officer who held his knee to George Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes, will be led by Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison.
“We are going to bring to bear all the resources necessary to achieve justice in this case,” Ellison said in a news conference.
The decision to put Ellison in charge of the case was announced Sunday night by Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz.
The move followed a day of relative calm in Minneapolis. Volunteer crews cleaned up broken glass and rubble left behind following days of widespread looting and protesting. City public works crews helped managed the clean-up process, which was powered primarily by volunteers.
Live updates: George Floyd family lawyer says cop may have known victim; Donald Trump praises National Guard; major cities impose curfews
Still, some think more damage is to come. Just one of the four officers involved in the incident that ended with Floyd’s death have so far been charged. Minneapolis residents want charges for the other three.
Sunday’s protests started out peaceful. A large crowd held a quiet rally at the Minnesota State Capitol in the afternoon, monitored by hundreds of state patrol and National Guard, who blocked access to the front steps with armored vehicles.
But peaceful protests were marred by people not involved with the events. The Minnesota Department of Public Safety confirmed a semi-truck driver was hospitalized and arrested after video surfaced showing a truck driving into a crowd of peaceful demonstrators on Interstate 35, which had been closed to traffic.
The Department of Public Safety called the driver’s actions “very disturbing” and added the driver was “inciting a crowd of peaceful demonstrators.” Videos from the scene showed an 18-wheeler driving toward a large crowd of fleeing protesters before coming to a stop.
The demonstrators converged on the truck after it stopped and the driver was taken out of the cab of the truck by protesters, DPS Commissioner John Harrington told reporters at a news conference.
City-by-city: Peaceful demonstrations, looting and chanting on sixth night of George Floyd protests
“The truck driver was injured & taken to a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries,” the Department of Public Safety tweeted. “He is under arrest. It doesn’t appear any protesters were hit by the truck.”
Officials announced the driver was in police custody and was released from the hospital Sunday evening.
Walz added: “The incident underscores the volatile situation we have out there.”
Thomas Winston, a psychology student at the University of Minnesota, was one of dozens of demonstrators sprayed by a chemical irritant Sunday evening when Minneapolis police officers separated a crowd gathered on the interstate.
Winston said after the truck barreled into protesters, police sought to chase half the crowd west and the others east. Winston headed west and was seated on his lawn an hour later as the city’s 8 p.m. curfew arrived. His face bore the residue of milk of magnesia, which a bystander poured on Winston to ease the sting of the chemical.
Winston, who has been demonstrating every night, said he would do it again if need be.
By Sunday evening, law enforcement had cleared protesters from the interstate and blocked their return with armored vehicles and hundreds of officers.
The Minnesota National Guard took to Twitter to let people know what to expect: UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters were being deployed to help with fire suppression. The Guard also said it would “never” drive a tank into the city, though residents should expect armored and tactical vehicles.
Harrington implored protesters to adhere to curfew, set from 8 p.m. until 6 a.m.
“We want you to be safe,” Harrington said. “The safest place for you tonight, in this very troubling time, as we’re finding incendiaries, as we’re finding weapons, we’re seeing folks driving around with vehicles that clearly are set up to avoid detections and avoid contact with the police, the safest place for you is at home.”
Read or Share this story: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2020/05/31/george-floyd-more-protests-tim-walz-announces-state-ag-take-case/5303603002/