ST. PAUL — Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz on Thursday, July 2, called on the federal government to assist in the repair of hundreds of buildings damaged in Minneapolis and St. Paul following the death of George Floyd.
Walz in a letter requested that the Federal Emergency Management Agency help the state in clean up and rebuilding efforts after more than 1,500 businesses were looted, damaged or destroyed in arson fires. Damages from the civil unrest exceed $500 million, the second-highest reported damage following civil unrest in the nation's history behind the 1992 Los Angeles riots.
"The social and economic impacts of this incident will be felt for years, if not decades," Walz wrote.
In a letter to President Donald Trump, Walz asked that the president “declare a major disaster for the State of Minnesota because of extensive fire damage to public infrastructure caused by civil unrest.” Federal emergency funds could help pay back local governments that had to foot the bill for emergency protection, damage to public buildings and equipment and the removal of damaged or destroyed property.
A state assessment found that more than $15 million in damages could be eligible for federal relief funding.
“We’re asking our federal partners to step up and help our communities recover,” Walz said in a news release. “We need to come together to ensure Minnesotans who were victims of this destruction have access to critical infrastructure they need so they can go to the grocery store, pick up their medication, and live their lives. Together, we will rebuild.”
George Floyd was killed on May 25 after former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin knelt on Floyd's neck for almost eight minutes. Video of the incident sparked protests in the Twin Cities metro area and around the country. Following the protests, rioters set fire to dozens of buildings in Minneapolis and St. Paul and broke into hundreds of storefronts and stole goods inside.
So far, 10 face federal charges in connection with the looting and arson fires.