Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison called for an investigation into the “real legitimate evidence” that the crimes committed during Minneapolis’ George Floyd protests have been committed by outsiders who are part of “a very serious operation.”
During this morning’s press conference, Minnesota Governor Tim Walz, Saint Paul Mayor Melvin Carter and Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey all said that the criminal actors in this week’s protests seem to be from outside the community. Walz is now consulting with the Department of Homeland Security about the possibility of foreign intervention.
MSNBC host Joy Reid broke away from the presser to discuss the issue with Minnesota’s Attorney General Keith Ellison. In addition to the fact that Carter said that every person arrested last night was from outside the state, Ellison said there is video evidence of outside infiltration, too.
ELLISON: My reaction is that just a few days ago, on like the second day of protests, there was a man who was dressed in all black, he was a Caucasian person. He had a gas mask, black gloves, an umbrella. It was not raining, and he was smashing windows and apparently throwing incendiary devices into businesses that had nothing to do with the tragedy around Mr. Floyd. And so people, protesters photographed this.
The video is existing and you can see it. And they confronted him, who are you and he just walked away. That led me to believe that there is real legitimate evidence that this is a very serious operation being done to tarnish the legitimate protest that is going on. We need an investigation on who these people are and their identity and I will just say as I close, that when Jamar Clark protest was going on, a group of white supremacists went on Facebook announcing they were going to attack the protests, did so, but — and then shot people. They were caught and then they were prosecuted. So, we know that this kind of thing happens, it’s planned. We have no good reason to believe that it’s not happening now. It needs to be a separate and independent investigation.
REID: Do you believe this is an organized operation against the protesters and against the city of Minneapolis and against the state?
ELLISON: I have every — and against civil society. I have every reason to believe that the facts exist to launch that investigation and I will say this. The people who would go out on the street to protest for justice for Mr. Floyd are not going to burn down the historic social justice advocacy groups that are for the Native American community. The Bengali vegan restaurant, they’re not gonna do that. That’s not what these kind of folks do. They’re not gonna leave the south side of Minneapolis, come all the way to the north side and attack the only grocery store that low-income African Americans use all the time to get foods and as well as the Walgreens. It doesn’t make sense at all.
This violence is widespread. The people appear very well organized. There are pictures of these folks. We need to identify them and hold them accountable and prosecute them and we need to remember the Jamar Clark case where organized white supremacists were caught, committed assault, attempted murder and criminally prosecuted for attacking the protest. I think that there’s ample reason for us to investigate that and I absolutely urge that we do and I think that that is a critical factor of what’s going on here.
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