Speed Reads

the investigation continues

Minneapolis 'umbrella man' is white supremacist who smashed windows to 'incite violence,' police say

Minneapolis police say they've identified the man who helped spark weeks of violence after the death of George Floyd, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports — and protesting racism and police brutality was not his intent.

In May, a video spread widely of a man dressed in black and carrying an umbrella while smashing windows at a Minneapolis AutoZone not far from where Floyd was killed. The AutoZone was later burned down as people took over the Minneapolis police's third precinct and the Target store across the street from it, and police say this man was a member of the Hell's Angels biker gang intent on sparking this sort of violence.

"This was the first fire that set off a string of fires and looting throughout the precinct and the rest of the city," arson investigator Erika Christensen said in an affadavit filed this week. "The protests had been relatively peaceful" until the so-called "Umbrella man" showed up and "created an atmosphere of hostility and tension," Christensen continued, saying she "believes that this individual's sole aim was to incite violence."

The 32-year-old man has also been linked to an incident in a Minneapolis suburb last month where men in "white supremacist garb" confronted a Muslim woman, the Star Tribune reports. He has not been charged with a crime yet.