In a new lawsuit, the man who robbed a auto parts store in Minneapolis during protests over the death of George Floyd is believed to have ties to a white supremacist group and tried to inflame tensions.
The video spread on social media in late May, showing a “man with an umbrella” dressed in black, smashing windows in the AutoZone store with a sledgehammer.
Police have identified the suspect, according to a search warrant first reported to the Star Tribune and confirmed by affiliate company NBC KARE.
The suspect is a member of the biker gang “Hell of Angels” and a member of the “Aryan Cowboy Brotherhood”, a white gang of supremacy, the statement said.
The man has not been charged and is not named NBC News.
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A video from the crime scene on May 27 shows people who are nearby trying to repel the man, the statement said.
An e-mail last week alerted authorities to the man’s intentions to “sow discord and racial unrest,” Minneapolis Police Department Emily Christensen told police on Monday.
“So far, the actions of a person whom your officer did not call an ‘Umbrella Man’ have been relatively peaceful,” the warrant said. “This man’s actions created an atmosphere of hostility and tension. Your supporter believes that this man’s sole purpose was to incite violence.”
Police allege that they later found that a “man with an umbrella” had painted “free s — for everyone in the area” on the door of the store before smashing the windows.
The AutoZone site was looted and set on fire.
According to the Anti-Defamation League, the Aryan Cowboy Brotherhood is a well-known prison gang that operates mainly in Minnesota and Kentucky. It is unclear whether it is affiliated with the Aryan Brotherhood, a white prison gang of supremacy believed to have originated at San Quentin State Prison in California in 1964 to fight the Black Prison gang during desegregation in ‘ prisons.
The “Man with an Umbrella” investigation issued a search warrant for cell phone records and information about the cell tower.
Minneapolis police did not respond to emails and phone calls Tuesday, demanding comment on the warrant.
A few weeks after Floyd was killed in police custody in Minneapolis on May 25, protesters took to the streets to demonstrate against police violence and stir up talk of systemic racism in the country.
Some critics of the protests sought to discredit the demonstrations, citing looting or vandalism, although protests around the world were largely peaceful.