But Frey’s leadership is being questioned after police failed to quell three nights of looting, rioting and fires that followed Floyd’s death. Frey, who pleaded for calm, also approved the decision to abandon the city’s 3rd Precinct station on Thursday night, surrendering it to protesters who set fire to the building.
The night the station burned, Frey appeared at an early-morning news conference after hours of criticism on social media for a police response that didn’t confront the violence despite the activation of the National Guard. As he began talking, one reporter snapped, “What’s the plan here?” Frey struggled to answer, and the next morning, Gov. Tim Walz — like Frey, a Democrat — criticized the “abject failure” of the city’s response and said the state had taken control. President Donald Trump took to Twitter to call Frey a “very weak Radical Left Mayor” and threatened to get involved.