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Lake Street burned, looted in chaotic night; pawn shop owner arrested for murder

Numerous businesses along Lake Street were burned, damaged, or looted, and a pawn shop owner was arrested on suspicion of murder.

Numerous businesses along Lake Street were burned, damaged, or looted, and a pawn shop owner was arrested on suspicion of murder. Tony Webster

What started as a second night of protests over the police killing of George Floyd morphed, for some, into a chaotic scene of buildings along Lake Street set fire to, vandalized, or looted. 

An untold number of arrests were made related to the riot, and the National Guard was activated to back up police encircling the Third Precinct police station, which was further damaged by protesters early Wednesday and the site of a tense standoff between cops and protesters for much of the night.

One man was shot and killed outside Cadillac Pawn and Jewelry, the Star Tribune reports.  Police spokesman John Elder told reporters the department is "truly in the infancy of its investigation" into the shooting death. The victim's name and age are not yet public.

John Rieple, 59 and listed on LinkedIn as Cadillac's owner, was arrested and booked into Hennepin County Jail on suspicion of murder around 2 a.m. last night. 

Businesses damaged or looted along Lake Street include Target, Cub Foods, U.S. Bank, Wells Fargo, and an Aldi, as documented by independent journalist Tony Webster's Twitter survey of the damage Thursday morning. An AutoZone store and a Dollar General were both set on fire. 

Also burned Wednesday night: The construction site of an affordable housing complex planned for the Lake Street and Hiawatha intersection.

Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo told Minnesota Public Radio the protest about Floyd's death had been "hijacked" by people engaging in "criminal conduct." Mayor Jacob Frey, speaking to the Star Tribune, lamented seeing "tragedy beget more tragedy," and asked citizens to "help us keep the peace."

City Council Member Andrea Jenkins was more forceful, saying, in part:

"I do understand the frustration, but you know there’s way to protest, to express your displeasure. And civil disobedience…we know that this exists and it works. We have an entire civil rights movement to justify it. And yeah, I get the anger, but it’s a no-win battle. I think for the most part, the police have remained somewhat restrained, because they have not just flat out started beating people and arresting people and dragging people in the middle of the streets, but the unruliness, the looting, the setting of fire [to] our own community is unacceptable and it’s painful."

The Strib notes that a more peaceful demonstration was held at 38th Street and Chicago Avenue, where Floyd, 46, was arrested and suffocated. Other demonstrators went to the homes of Derek Chauvin, the now-fired Minneapolis cop recorded kneeling on Floyd's back and neck for several minutes after he'd stopped moving.

Still others went to the home of Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman, whose office is considering criminal charges against Chauvin and three other officers involved in Floyd's death. Speaking earlier Wednesday, Frey asked publicly why Chauvin had not been arrested, saying: "If you had done it, or I had done it, we would be behind bars right now."