A second nighttime curfew in Minneapolis came and went by Friday morning with barely a hint of what erupted earlier in the week, when rioters targeted buildings up and down Nicollet Mall and block after block of sometimes fiery destruction.
The return to relative calm prompted authorities to cancel another night of curfew.
"I think it is official there will not be the curfew tonight … I believe both the cities have made that decision," Gov. Tim Walz said Friday afternoon.
He thanked Minnesotans for staying home during the curfew, but urged them to go out and support local businesses safely this weekend.
Minnesota Public Safety Commissioner John Harrington said Friday that officials pulled together about 1,000 members of law enforcement in 24 hours who were ready to respond if looting, violence and fires continued.
"We are not completely stepping that down, frankly. There will still be state patrol on tap for this weekend there will still be DNR and other state officers," Harrington said. Minneapolis and St. Paul also have their strike force teams ready to respond rapidly if crises emerge, he said, and other agencies are ready to help out as well.
They are listening very carefully to the community and asking people to let law enforcement know about what they are hearing, Harrington said.
"I feel like we're very well prepared. We're not hearing any issues right now. We are tracking a number of protests, but we track a number of protests daily," he said.
"We were very happy to see that the Twin Cities responded to our calls to the community to say, 'Please stay home.' The curfew worked," he added.
The earlier unrest ignited Wednesday evening when a false rumor spread that a murder suspect had been hunted down by police and fatally shot on the mall, brought a swift response from government leaders in the form of a beefed police presence backed by hundreds of Minnesota National Guard members.
Before the curfew took effect Thursday at 8 p.m., local and state leaders urged people to stay home Thursday night. Walz said his concern had been "safety and security and bringing peace into the city."
The plea appears to have largely been heeded as authorities reported nothing resembling the looting, fires and property damage from Wednesday night into Thursday that led to more than 130 arrests in Minneapolis.
"Thank you to everyone in the community who followed the curfews and helped to make last night a more peaceful one!" the Guard said on Twitter as daybreak arrived.
The latest curfew, which also included neighboring St. Paul, resulted in law enforcement arresting 30 people within the first hour in Minneapolis, according to police spokesman John Elder. They seized one illegal gun. St. Paul had reported no arrests late Thursday.
Harrington said that in all there were still about 100 arrests before the curfew expired at 6 a.m. Friday, 80 of which were for curfew violations, with others for weapons violations and narcotics.
An updated arrest tally from Minneapolis is expected later Friday.
State troopers and conservation officers made a combined 49 arrests in Minneapolis, the Department of Public Safety said, mostly for curfew violations. Also, several knives were confiscated, the agency said.
In St. Paul, "We're happy to report that there were no issues related to unrest [Thursday night into Friday]," said police spokesman Steve Linders. "We did not make any arrests."
The Guard's soldiers were assigned to traffic control until midnight Thursday at 23 locations in Minneapolis, said Col. Scott Rohweder, the Guard's director of operations. The assignment is being repeated Friday, a Guard spokeswoman said.
Wednesday evening's rioting broke out after officers on Nicollet Mall approached a man implicated in the killing a few hours earlier in the day of Eddie G. Gordon, 61, at a nearby parking ramp.
As police drew near, suspect Eddie Frank Sole Jr., 38, quickly ducked into a Nicollet Mall doorway and killed himself as bystanders scrambled for cover.
Crowds gathered quickly as rumors spread on social media that officers had killed him. Authorities almost immediately released video from city cameras showing that the death of Sole, who was Black, was a suicide. But by then the destruction had begun.
This week's rioting was reminiscent of what broke out three months ago after death of Floyd on May 25 while being restrained on the pavement by police in Minneapolis. Floyd's case sparked days of rioting that left hundreds of properties torched, looted or otherwise damaged in the Twin Cities. Two deaths have been attributed to the unrest.
Paul Walsh • 612-673-4482