Minnesota state Democrats postpone convention due to unrest over George Floyd death

The Minnesota Democratic-Farmer Labor (DFL) party on Friday said it has postponed its virtual convention, originally slated for this weekend, due to unrest across the state following the death of George Floyd.

“This was the only appropriate course of action given the grief and anger gripping much of our state and nation following the murder of George Floyd and the subsequent unrest,” the party said in a statement. “Now is not the time for a partisan political rally.”

“We live in a country where the lives and the dignity of Black people do not carry the same value or importance as others, and that truth was laid bare bone again this week. The outrage we feel today must translate to justice tomorrow,” the party continued. “This weekend, instead of putting on various events during our convention weekend, the Minnesota DFL Party is going to support the efforts of black-led organizations and community organizations on the ground that are doing the work of addressing racial injustice.”

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The party did not announce when the convention would be rescheduled.

The DFL is a political party affiliated with the Democratic party in Minnesota. Joe Biden was to deliver a keynote address at the event, joined by Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz and Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith.

George Floyd, a 46-year-old black man, died in police custody after a white officer pinned his neck to the ground with his knee.

Derek Chauvin, the officer who pinned down Floyd, along with three other police officers involved in the incident, Thomas Lane, Tou Thao and J. Alexander Kueng, were fired from the force Tuesday, hours after a bystander’s video showed Chauvin kneeling on Floyd's neck, even after he pleaded that he could not breathe and stopped moving.

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Violent protests have raged across the state since the Memorial Day incident, with local businesses being looted and a police precinct being torched. President Trump announced the National Guard had arrived to help bring peace to the state.

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz on Friday promised swift justice in the death of George Floyd, but also pleaded with looters and violent protestors who have set fire to Minneapolis to stop, so the city could restore justice and order.

"I won't patronize you as a white man about living those experiences... but I am asking you to help us," Walz said. "Help us use humane ways to get the streets to a place where we can restore the justice so that those who are expressing rage and anger and demanding justice are heard, not those who throw fire bombs into businesses."

After three days of protest, Officer Chauvin was taken into custody Friday.