A police precinct was burning in Minneapolis late Thursday as protests over the death of George Floyd raged on for a third straight day.
Protesters had focused their attention on the Police Department's 3rd Precinct, the base of four officers who were fired after Floyd's death in their custody Monday.
A fire appeared to have spread to the interior of the stations, which police had evacuated. They cleared the building shortly after 10 p.m., when demonstrators forcibly entered and "ignited several fires," department spokesman John Elder said.
Fires also burned on both sides of the police station as demonstrators pushed down temporary fencing and occupied property at the precinct. Officers fired tear gas from the ground and a rooftop.
The city of Minneapolis on Twitter urged people to "retreat" from the area as a precaution. "We're hearing unconfirmed reports that gas lines to the Third Precinct have been cut and other explosive materials are in the building."
Police said late Thursday no serious injuries had been reported.
Multiple blazes also burned on nearby blocks.
The Minnesota guard said on Twitter that 500 soldiers have been activated for duty in the Twin Cities. "Our mission is to protect life, preserve property and the right to peacefully demonstrate," it said.
Gov. Tim Walz signed an executive order Thursday activating the Minnesota National Guard. A statement from the governor's office said the order was needed after "extensive damage to private property occurred and peaceful protests evolved into a dangerous situation for protesters and first responders."
Businesses across the Twin Cities were boarding up their windows and doors Thursday in an effort to prevent looting.
Looters on Thursday broke into a Target on University Avenue in St. Paul before police arrived, sending the raiders scrambling.
But as police circled the store and faced off with an angry crowd, looters broke into a T.J. Maxx close by and made off with whatever they could carry. That store was later reported to be on fire.
"Officers continue to be hit with rocks and bottles thrown by people who are also breaking into buildings, looting and destroying property," St. Paul police said on Twitter.
And Black Lives still matter, even as Hennepin County refuses to bring charges against a monster who murdered a man in public with dozens of witnesses.
Prosecutors looking at the death of George Floyd on Thursday asked the people of Minneapolis for patience while they investigate the case that has riled the city and the nation.
Floyd, a 46-year-old black man, died after pleading for help as a police officer used his knee on Floyd's neck to pin him -- unarmed and handcuffed -- to the ground. His death sparked outrage and protests across the country, demonstrations that continued Thursday.
In Minneapolis, hundreds of people gathered outside the police departments Third Precinct. Some protesters brought signs and some threw rocks. A temporary fence in front of the station was knocked over. Police responded with tear gas, rubber bullets and bean bags fired at rock throwers.
Earlier, Hennepin County Attorney Michael Freeman, giving an update to reporters on the case, said he must look at all evidence before bringing charges.
"My job in the end is to prove he violated a criminal statute. And there is other evidence that does not support a criminal charge. We need to wade through all of that evidence and come to a meaningful decision and we are doing that to the best of our ability."
It's been centuries, but sure.
Patience is what's needed right now, right?