An MSNBC journalist downplayed the Minneapolis riots on live TV.
The reporter, Ali Velshi, said the protests were not generally “unruly” as one building was set ablaze directly behind him Thursday evening.
“I want to be clear on how I characterize this. This is mostly a protest. It is not generally speaking unruly. But fires have been started,” Velshi said.
“There is a deep sense of grievance and complaint here, and that is the thing. That when you discount people who are doing things to public property that they shouldn’t be doing, it does have to be understood that this city has got, for the last several years, an issue with police, and it’s got a real sense of the deep sense of grievance of inequality.”
Protests in the city began after video emerged online of a Minneapolis police officer kneeling on the neck of Floyd, a 46-year-old black man, for approximately eight minutes until he became unresponsive on Monday. Floyd was pronounced dead at a hospital.
Multiple buildings were set on fire late Thursday night as protests once descended against descended into crime-ridden chaos. Hundreds if not thousands of protesters swarmed the city’s police’s 3rd Precinct, setting the building on fire. Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey addressed a room of anxious reporters following the events in an early Friday morning press conference.
“The symbolism of a building cannot outweigh the importance of life, of our officers, or the public,” Frey said. “We could not risk serious injury to anyone, and we will continue to patrol the 3rd precinct entirely, we will continue to do our jobs in that area, and you know, brick and mortar is not as important as life.”