By Jake Dima
Armed residents in Minneapolis have reportedly formed enclaves to protect their neighborhoods in the epicenter of mass nationwide violence.
Men with rifles, bats and handguns questioned visitors about their intentions and convened in neighborhood watch groups to detect suspicious activity. Residents watching the destruction in parts of Minnesota have since stocked up on fire retardants and tried to remove flammable objects from their properties, according to The Associated Press.
“There’s a sense of state failure and into state failure comes private actions to protect one’s family and one’s community,” Princeton University assistant politics professor Omar Wasow told the AP.
A Minneapolis police station burned to the ground after officers evacuated the building in the first few days of violent insurrections in the state. A few hundred businesses have also since been reported to be damaged, burned or looted by rioters angered by the death of George Floyd, who died after a police officer knelt on his neck for several minutes, according to footage of the incident.
Residents fear their homes are next on the list, saying emergency response times aren’t quick enough.
“You’ve got that feeling that eyes are on you,” a Minneapolis resident told the AP about the watch groups.
Calls to arms nationally have been heeded by those wishing to protect their lives and property. Multiple St. Paul residents stood guard in front of their businesses after a spell of looting and rioting, video showed.
Video appears to show armed citizens protecting businesses in St. Paul after businesses have reportedly been looted and burned down during riots over George Floyd's death in Minnesota.
— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) May 29, 2020
The Minneapolis Police Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
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