A US police officer has been shot and killed in protests as a state governor admits authorities are struggling to contain the violence.
A Federal Protective Services officer has been killed in protests after two officers suffered gunshot wounds in California.
Two Federal Protective Service officers were shot during a protest in Oakland in California on Friday night, police told CNN. One of the officers died from his injuries.
Protests raged for a fourth night across the US, sparked by the death of African-American man George Floyd, who was allegedly killed by white police officer Derek Chauvin. State and federal authorities are investigating Mr Floyd’s death, and Chauvin has been charged with third degree murder and manslaughter.
“Two Federal Protective Services officers stationed at the Oakland Down Town Federal Building suffered gunshot wounds. Unfortunately, one succumbed to his injury,” the police department said in a statement.
The Federal Protective Service is controlled by the US Department of Homeland Security and secures government buildings. The report said arrests had occurred in Oakland but didn’t provide specific details.
The Governor of Minnesota has described the deteriorating situation in Minneapolis as “life threatening” and “incredibly dangerous” saying law enforcement are struggling to deal with the situation on the ground.
State Governor Tim Walz called the situation in the Minnesota city “dangerous” and “dynamic” as protesters continued to burn buildings and clash with police.
The government has called in 1700 members of the army as they try and regain control of the city, after days of rioting, looting, fires, violence and unrest.
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Mr Walz said officers were focused on holding their ground and weren’t in a strong enough position to move to making arrests.
“The situation is incredibly dangerous. The situation is fluid, it is dynamic,” he said on Saturday.
“I understand the rage, I understand it. We’ve talked about it. We understand what has to happen.
“But the absolute chaos — this is not grieving, this is not making a statement — that we fully acknowledge needs to be fixed.
“This is life threatening, dangerous to the most well-qualified forces that are out there,” he said.
Minneapolis police said shots had been fired at law enforcement officers during the protests but no one was injured.
Shortly before midnight, scores of officers on foot and in vehicles moved in to curb the violence, one day after city and state leaders faced blowback for their handling of the crisis. On Thursday, protesters burned a police station after it was abandoned by police and went on to burn and vandalise dozens of businesses.
The Governor vowed to take a more hard line approach on rioters, but acknowledged on Saturday morning the protesters had outnumbered his officers.
“We do not have the numbers,” Mr Walz said. “We cannot arrest people when we are trying to hold ground.”
Mr Walz said he was moving quickly to mobilise more than 1000 more members of the National Guard, for a total of 1700, and was considering the potential offer of federal military police. But he warned that even that might not be enough, saying he expected another difficult night Saturday.
The city’s Mayor Jacob Frey has pleaded with protesters to “stop” the destructive protests, saying on Friday “we can be so much better than this”.
The Pentagon on Saturday ordered the Army to put military police units on alert to head to the city on short notice at President Donald Trump’s request, according to three people with direct knowledge of the orders who did not want their names used because they were not authorised to discuss the preparations.
The rare step came as the violence spread to at least 19 other cities and a man was shot dead in Detroit.
—with AP/ News Australia