A lone racist motorcyclist is to blame for triggering the Minneapolis riots, suggested a Minneapolis Police Department (MPD) investigator.
An arson investigator from the MPD said that an alleged member of the Hell’s Angels who broke some windows is ultimately responsible for triggering the riots that occurred in the wake of George Floyd’s death, according to The Star Tribune.
Shortly before rioting began around the Third Police Precinct in Minneapolis in late May, a masked man with an umbrella was filmed smashing the windows of an AutoZone store. Originally, social media commentators alleged that the man was a police officer attempting to incite violence – but now a police investigator has claimed that the man is actually a member of the Hell’s Angels motorcycle gang.
— Javier Morillo 🇵🇷🏳️🌈 (@javimorillo) May 28, 2020
The investigator said the actions of “Umbrella Man,” as he has come to be known, emboldened rioters to torch the rest of the surrounding area.
“This was the first fire that set off a string of fires and looting throughout the precinct and the rest of the city,” Sgt. Erika Christensen claims in a search warrant affidavit, according to The Tribune.
“Until the actions of the person your affiant has been calling ‘Umbrella man,’ the protests had been relatively peaceful,” she writes in the affidavit. “The actions of this person created an atmosphere of hostility and tension.”
Alpha News reached out to MPD spokesman John Elder, who confirmed that Christensen is a member of the department’s arson investigation team, but said that she has not spoken with any media outlets about this matter.
“This remains an open and active investigation in which we will be unable to comment. There are no charges filed at this time,” said Elder in regards to the accuracy of the conclusions drawn by The Tribune.
The riots allegedly triggered by the lone vandal damaged more than 700 buildings and ushered in a wave of violent crime.
Police identified the man based on a tip they received via email last week. The tipster claimed Umbrella Man “wanted to sow discord and racial unrest by breaking out the windows.”
This is not the first time Minnesota officials have blamed the riots on white supremacists. As his city burned, Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey said that “white supremacists” and “even foreign actors” were invading the city.
Governor Walz, at our request and in partnership with our city and @MayorCarter Carter, has just fully mobilized the Minnesota National Guard. MPD and our fire department will be assisting tonight as part of this operation.
— Mayor Jacob Frey (@MayorFrey) May 30, 2020
Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz made a similar suggestion during a press conference. Based on “suspicions and what I’ve seen on this, yes,” the governor responded when a reporter asked him if “white supremacists [are] causing destruction in the city.”