Jennifer Carnahan, Minnesota’s Republican Party chairwoman, has called on the mayor of Minneapolis and the governor of Minnesota to resign over their roles in allowing violent protests to continue largely unchecked, according to the Washington Examiner.
Carnahan said that Governor Tim Walz (D) and Mayor Jacob Frey (D) were “largely silent” about the violence from the start. “We have watched our city burn to the ground,” she said in a statement Saturday morning.
“These gentlemen have demonstrated they are not equipped to run Minneapolis or Minnesota,” she added, according to the Examiner. “Their inaction has led to riots across our country. Our state can not move forward or start to heal with either in office. We call for the resignation of both, so no additional harm and damage comes to our people and state.”
Carnahan’s statement was issued as the state GOP held a virtual convention due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Inaction amid chaos
Protests began in earnest on Tuesday after a video went public showing white police officer Derek Chauvin kneeling on the neck of George Floyd, a black man, for more than eight minutes despite Floyd saying he couldn’t breathe and that he needed help, as Fox News reported.
Three other Minneapolis police officers were present but did not step in to help Floyd. The incident caused widespread anger among all racial groups, but the resulting protests soon turned violent.
By the time Chauvin was arrested on Friday, more than 130 businesses in Minneapolis had been looted and burned, according to the Wall Street Journal, and the police precinct in the area where Floyd was arrested was also set on fire and abandoned by officers, as NBC News reported.
Local law enforcement reportedly stood largely aside and allowed protestors to inflict damage and destruction on Thursday and Friday nights, with Frey appearing more focused on distributing masks to the protesters to prevent the spread of COVID-19, according to Fox News.
Failure of leadership
U.S. Rep. Tom Emmer (R-MN) agreed with Carnahan that the state’s Democratic leadership has failed to serve Minnesotans and that the GOP can and would do a better job if elected this fall.
“You want to know whether leadership matters? Just look at what’s happening to this state today,” he said. “There is a reason why Republicans offer the only hope going forward.”
Although Minnesota went to Hillary Clinton in 2016, her margin of victory was just 44,000 votes, and state Republican leaders think it’s possible that the state could flip to President Donald Trump this time around.
The party is also working to elect Jason Lewis to the U.S. Senate, an outcome that would further Republican hopes of keeping the upper chamber in GOP hands come November.