The murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin sparked Black Lives Matter protests nationwide. At the start of the protests in Minneapolis, one white man sparked instant outrage after he was recorded by Javier Morillo smashing the windows of an AutoZone, part of eventual damage estimated at $100 million in Minneapolis alone.
“Umbrella Man” was confronted by protesters because he stood out like a sore thumb, dressed in all black, wearing a face mask, and carrying an umbrella. He was the first to start damaging storefronts and protesters wondered aloud as they confronted him if he was an agent provocateur seeking to make the protesters look bad. Turns out, that is exactly what he was doing.
After the video went viral, many online falsely accused a Minneapolis police officer of being the man in question, but that was not the case. Months later, a tip finally came into the Minneapolis police department. According to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, the man is a member of the Hell’s Angels bike gang and a smaller white supremacist gang called the Aryan Cowboy Brotherhood. The police warrant noted the man in the video “wanted to sow discord and racial unrest by breaking out the windows and writing what he did on the double red doors.”
The warrant also noted the man’s actions seemed to change the course of the otherwise peaceful protest. “Until the actions of the person your affiant has been calling ‘Umbrella Man,’ the protests had been relatively peaceful. The actions of this person created an atmosphere of hostility and tension. Your affiant believes that this individual’s sole aim was to incite violence.”
Minneapolis police also told the Star Tribune the man is a member of the Aryan Cowboy Brotherhood, a small white supremacist prison and street gang based primarily in Minnesota and Kentucky.
Charges have yet to be filed and the man’s name has not yet been publicly released, but both seem imminent. Stay tuned.