After a night of destruction caused by rioting in south Minneapolis, Chief of Police Medaria Arradondo noted that the majority of protesters were peaceful, but there was a “core group of people causing some destruction,” including much of the damage believed to have been caused by non-Minneapolis residents.
Reporters asked Arradondo to confirm reports circulating on social media that outside agitators were largely responsible for turning peaceful protests violent Wednesday night.
“We continue to follow that information – that intel,” Arradondo told reporters at a Thursday press conference. “We’re keeping the mayor briefed on that as we speak. I will just say that it was clear to me and also hearing from our local community leaders that many of the people involved in the criminal conduct last night were not known Minneapolitans to them and so yes there were certainly people who were involved in the activities last night that were certainly not recognized as being here from the city.”
Video of what appears to be an outside agitator has been shared widely on social media. The video shows a white man dressed in all black, carrying a black umbrella and wearing a black gas mask, wielding what appears to be a hammer that he uses to smash the windows of an Autozone store on Wednesday afternoon.
In the first video, live-streamed by Brad Svenson, a candidate for Congress in Minnesota’s 2nd Congressional District, the man can be seen smashing the entire storefront with a hammer as he is confronted by a black protester who appears to be carrying a pizza box.
— Misty Graves (@MistyGComics) May 28, 2020
The protester stands in the rioter’s path and he is quickly joined by several other protesters who appear to confront the man. The rioter can be seen making a hasty retreat towards the rear of the store.
A second video captures the group of peaceful protesters confronting the same rioter as he attempts to flee the scene.
“The guy just came with a hammer and smashed the windows,” a woman says as she records the scene.
The man then turns and threatens to fight one of the protesters before he appears to shove the woman filming him.
“Are you a f*cking cop?” one protester yells at him as he continues to walk away from the scene.
A third video captures the rioter continuing to flee the scene as protesters continue to chase him.
Video: They salted the snifter. Double act black 'Pizza Box' guy & Umbrella 'Agent Provocateur' MPD cop Jacob Pederson – they were in it together to get the riot party started #Autozone#GeorgeFloyd #MinneapolisRiotspic.twitter.com/A3SiStbYuo
— The Daily Civic (@realDailyCivic) May 29, 2020