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Mob violence isn’t a proper response

Protestors have been gathering in Minneapolis since the death of George Floyd Monday. Floyd, a black man, was being questioned by Minneapolis police on suspicion of trying to pass a counterfeit $20 at a store. Somehow he wound up on the ground, in handcuffs, while a veteran Minneapolis police officer, who is white knelt on his neck for five minutes, ignoring his pleas that he couldn’t breath, until Floyd died.

Protestors have right to be angry. They have a right to gather together in front of a police precinct and shout their disapproval. They have a right to gather in front of government officials’ home and demand justice.

Unfortunately, many protestors took it a step further, smashing cars and other property, looting a nearby Target store, setting fire to several businesses and damaging countless others. One man was shot to death by a pawn shop owner who thought the man was trying to rob the shop.

Rioters and looters are not helping the cause that the protestors are pushing, to seeking justice for George Floyd. They are damaging their community and the businesses that serve the people living there.

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey is urging protestors to remain calm and avoid violence. He has also asked Gov. Tim Walz to send the Minnesota National Guard to reinforce the embattled police.

We realize the irony and futility of trying to persuade those victimized by violence not to respond with violence. But it is true — violence begets more violence. We hope that, in the cause of seeking justice, peaceful protests will prevail.

Of course, the best way to settle protests is with a quick, thorough and transparent investigation of the incident, with suitable legal charges against those responsible for the death.

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