Video from Minneapolis appears to show members of law enforcement shooting paint canisters at people on a porch in the Whittier neighborhood, despite previous statements from the governor that people would be allowed on their own property after a curfew went into effect.
The video was shared online by Tanya Kerssen, who said that law enforcement officers and members of the Minnesota National Guard were seen marching down a residential street with military vehicles ahead of them. As the video showed, several members of law enforcement yelled at the group to move inside their homes before one of them yelled, “Light ’em up!”
The law enforcement members then opened fire with what appeared to be paint canisters, striking at least one of the people as the retreated back into the home.
It was not clear exactly what members of law enforcement fired on the people, including whether they were local or state police. While many identified the firing officer as a member of the Minnesota National Guard, the organization shared a link to an article and a note that the person who fired was not a member.
“RUMOR CONTROL: The law enforcement officers in this video are not members of the @mnnationalguard,” the Minnesota National Guard noted on Twitter.
The video has captured viral interest, garnering more than 250,000 likes and being shared widely across social media. Many noted that the police appeared to be acting beyond their authority, one of several instances across the country that appeared to show police brutality during the protests. This included a series of incidents in which police appeared to specifically target or detain journalists, which critics have called a violation of the First Amendment rights.
Share widely: National guard and MPD sweeping our residential street. Shooting paint canisters at us on our own front porch. Yelling “light em up” #JusticeForGeorgeFloyd #JusticeForGeorge #BlackLivesMatter pic.twitter.com/bW48imyt55
— Tanya Kerssen (@tkerssen) May 31, 2020
Minnesota Governor Tim Walz announced the curfew order on Friday, declaring that it would be in effect in Minneapolis and St. Paul starting at 8 p.m., authorizing law enforcement to arrest those who do not comply.
“Thousands of Minnesotans have expressed their grief and frustration in a peaceful manner,” Walz said in a news release, via KTTC.
“But the unlawful and dangerous actions of others, under the cover of darkness, has caused irreversible pain and damage to our community. This behavior has compromised the safety of bystanders, businesses, lawful demonstrators, and first responders. Now, we come together to restore the peace.”
But as KBJR-6 reported, the curfew order only declared that people must remain out of streets and public places in the Twin Cities, allowing them to remain on their own property.