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Protests over George Floyd’s death spilling into St. Paul

MPR Staff

St. Paul police were confronting protesters and looters Thursday afternoon in the city’s Midway neighborhood as demonstrations over the death of George Floyd, a black man who died in Minneapolis police custody, spilled across the border.

Just before 2 p.m., MPR News producer Megan Burks reported looters had moved to a liquor store on the south side of University Avenue and that there were hot spots of trouble throughout the Midway neighborhood.

Twenty minutes later, St. Paul police said on Twitter that officers were working to “disperse large groups of people causing property damage along University Avenue.”

The agency said officers were being pelted with rocks, liquor bottles and bricks around the Midway Target store on University Avenue.

By 2:45 p.m., MPR News reporter Tim Nelson called it an “extremely chaotic scene” on University Avenue between Snelling Avenue and Lexington Parkway, with a tense standoff outside the Midway Target.

While Midway was the center of St. Paul’s confrontations, officers were giving similar dispersal orders to groups around the 1700 block of Suburban Avenue on the the city’s east side.

On the Capitol grounds in St. Paul, buildings and offices of lawmakers, state court staff and judges have been evacuated out of precaution. Staff were urged to leave quickly and work from home for the time being.

Early Thursday afternoon, Metro Transit said it would shut down light rail for the rest of the day out of concern for the safety of riders and workers given the expected coming demonstrations.