Minneapolis Mayor encourages protesters to wear masks while “physically distancing as much as possible”

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey’s city government has issued a statement that includes advice on how George Floyd protesters should “exercise caution.” “We need to offer radical love and compassion that we all have in us,” Frey said. “I believe in this city and I know that you do to.”

“The City encourages everyone to exercise caution to stay safe while participating in demonstrations, including wearing masks and physical distancing as much as possible to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The City has made hundreds of masks available to protesters this week.” the statement concludes.

Video footage of protests in Minnesota shows many are not wearing masks and clearly massive groups are not practicing the “physical distancing” recommended by Frey.

Frey tweeted Wednesday:

If most people, particularly people of color, had done what a police officer did late Monday, they’d already be behind bars. That’s why today I’m calling on Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman to charge the arresting officer in this case.

There are precedents and protocols sitting in the reserves of institutions like this one that will give you about a thousand reasons not to do something. To not speak out. To not move so quickly.

But we can’t turn a blind eye. George Floyd deserves justice. The Black community deserves justice. His friends and family deserve Justice.

Per NBCNews, the mayor of Minneapolis asked the state National Guard to move in after protests over the death of George Floyd escalated Wednesday night with a fatal shooting, widespread looting, fires and the police deployment of tear gas.

“I cannot risk the safety of innocent people and so that is what I’ve been sworn to uphold and that is what I am dedicated to do,” Mayor Jacob Frey told NBC affiliate KARE. “We can have both things. We can have peaceful demonstrations, but I also have to ensure the safety of everyone in the city.”

The second night of demonstrations near the site of Floyd’s death began peacefully but grew violent as the night went on. Gov. Tim Walz late Wednesday called it an “extremely dangerous situation” and urged residents to leave the area.

Frey pleaded with residents for calm.

“I’m imploring our city, imploring our community, imploring every one of us to keep the peace. Let’s honor George Floyd’s memory,” Frey told KARE11 in a phone interview.