More than a dozen staffers working for former Vice President Joe Biden’s campaign have donated money to help pay the bail of those arrested in the recent riots in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Reuters reported on Saturday that at least 13 individuals employed by Biden’s campaign have donated to the Minnesota Freedom Fund. The group, which opposes pre-trial detention within the criminal justice system, relies on donations to post bail for individuals arrested throughout Minneapolis.
The effort appears not to be coordinated with the former vice president’s campaign. It comes as Minneapolis, like many other cities across the country, deals with the fallout of George Floyd’s death.
In some portions of the city, most notably the area in which Floyd died, protesters openly clashed with the National Guard as the 8:00 p.m. curfew, imposed by the mayor and Minnesota’s governor, took effect on Friday night. The guards responded by “shooting what seemed to be rubber bullets” and throwing canisters of tear gas into the crowd, according to the Washington Post.
Although it is unclear how many individuals have been arrested since the start of the protests, contention has arisen as to the origin of the rioters. Minnesota’s elected officials at all levels, from the mayor of Minneapolis to the governor, have claimed most of those arrested are from out of state. A local Fox affiliate, however, disputed that claim, arguing that a majority of those arrested in connection with the riots have Minnesota addresses, citing jail logs it reportedly had access to.
The protests took place even as the officer at the center of the controversy surrounding Floyd’s death was arrested and charged with murder late Friday afternoon. Derek Chauvin, a 19-year veteran of the Minneapolis police department, was fired earlier this week after a video went viral showing him kneeling on Floyd’s neck until he died.
In the video, Floyd is heard pleading for help, claiming he cannot breathe, as Chauvin crushes him. Tou Thao, Chauvin’s partner—who also has a record of police brutality complaints—is seen in the video refusing to intervene.