Footage of a masked man smashing windows at an AutoZone in Minneapolis has raised suspicion on social media.
The white man, seen covered from head to toe, is suspected to be an agent provocateur. A bystander recorded the man dressed in tactical gear and a gas mask while carrying an umbrella to seemingly conceal his identity. He was recorded breaking windows at a Minneapolis AutoZone, a store that was later vandalized and burned, along with a Wendy’s restaurant and an under-construction affordable housing complex.
Video shows a suspicious white man breaking windows at the Minneapolis Auto Zone and then walking away from the scene. This looks like an effort to instigate trouble in order to blame the protesters for the consequences.— Keith Boykin (@keithboykin) May 28, 2020
🎥 Matthew Giddingshttps://t.co/T7oVM1MuCE pic.twitter.com/jafqL1egeM
Social media is questioning videos of the man that show him being questioned by protesters who chase him away. At one point, he seems to lunge at one woman who is filming him. His unusual behavior has left many on social media to believe that he was a police officer or an agent provocateur trying to rile up protests and fuel a riot amid protests for the latest police-caused death of an unarmed Black man, George Floyd.
Many are questioning if the man is a St. Paul, Minnesota police officer. However, the St. Paul Police Department has denied those claims.
“We are aware of the social media post that erroneously identifies one of our officers as the person caught on video breaking windows in Minneapolis. We’ve seen it. We’ve looked into it. And it’s false,” they said in a statement, Bring Me the News reports.
“So we also want to be perfectly clear about this: The person in the video is not our officer. We don’t know who that person is, but we hope he’s identified and held accountable for his actions.”
The statement continues: “Our officer? He’s been working hard, keeping people and property safe, and protecting the right to peacefully assemble. It’s sad that people would post and share this untrue information, adding more confusion to an already painful time in our community.”
convince me this guy that started shit at autozone windows is not a COP pic.twitter.com/zmirgedQkD— molly (@molllygurl) May 28, 2020
Meanwhile, one Twitter user by the name of @GypseyEyedBeauty claims the officer was identified by his ex-wife.
“Update: It has been revealed that Officer Jacob Pederson of the St.Paul Police Department was the culprit responsible for kick starting the riot in South Minneapolis. He was captured on camera and identified by his Ex-wife.” she tweeted.
Here are screenshots from his ex wife confirming this is him, along with his photo. pic.twitter.com/3tUt0UqZw1— 𓂀 Mama Minnie ☥ (@GypsyEyedBeauty) May 29, 2020
Floyd was murdered this past Memorial Day after he was detained for questioning about a forgery in progress. The arresting officer Derek Chauvin placed his knee into Floyd’s neck despite his pleas saying that he could not breathe. Following footage of Floyd’s death going viral, an onslaught of nationwide protests has taken place while violent protests leave businesses burnt to a crisp in Minneapolis.
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