On the ground in Minneapolis: The cultural landscapes that matter now
July 2, 2020
On May 25, 2020, 46-year-old George Floyd died on a sidewalk while in the custody of the Minneapolis Police. This was only the latest event in a chain of police killings of Black citizens over decades, one that sparked protests across the country and around the world.
From the ground here in Minneapolis, the initial news of Floyd's killing seemed like more of the same. We've lived for years with a militarized police force that is largely white, often incompetent, and beholden to its union chapter, the Minneapolis Police Federation. Lieutenant Bob Kroll, the chapter's elected president and Trump spokesman, is a bad boy cop straight out of Central Casting.
Roughly 1,500 buildings across Minneapolis and St. Paul were damaged or destroyed in the week of protests following Floyd's murder. Although generally under-reported, the vast majority of the damaging arson incidents were instigated by outside white agitators.