United StatesMinnesota

Trump rejects Gov. Walz’s disaster declaration for riots following George Floyd’s death

A burned down building in Minneapolis following a night of rioting in response to the death of George Floyd.

(The Center Square) – The federal government has rejected Gov. Tim Walz’s request for federal aid to rebuild part of the Twin Cities after civil unrest following George Floyd’s death in police custody caused $500 million worth of damage.

“The governor is disappointed that the federal government declined his request for financial support from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to help Minnesota rebuild after civil unrest damaged public infrastructure and caused extensive fire damage in the wake of George Floyd’s death,” Walz’s spokesperson Teddy Tschann told The Center Square.

“As we navigate one of the most difficult periods in our state’s history, we look for support from our federal government to help us through.”

Walz sent the request in a July 2 letter, citing a preliminary damage assessment that calculated $15.6 million in fire-related eligible damages.

A Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) spokesperson told The Center Square in a Monday email: “After a thorough review of Minnesota’s request for a major disaster declaration from extensive fire damage as a result of civil unrest in late May and early June, it was determined that the impact to public infrastructure is within the capabilities of the local and state governments to recover from,” a spokesperson wrote.

“The Governor has 30 days from the date of the decision letter to appeal the decision. The appeal should include additional information justifying the need for supplemental federal assistance.”

Rioters  burned, looted or vandalized nearly 1,500 Twin Cities businesses, Walz stated in a letter to President Donald Trump.

U.S. Rep. Tom Emmer, R-Minn, sent Trump a letter on July 9 requesting a federal review of the actions that state and local officials did or didn’t take to stop the violence.

“Thousands of livelihoods have been permanently disrupted, future economic development plans have been derailed as businesses reconsider investing in and around the Twin Cities, and numerous public lifelines for the community have been cut leaving Minnesotans searching for alternative means of care for their families,” Emmer wrote.

A committee led by Minnesota Republicans has already been reviewing the local government’s response to the riots.

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