As protests the last several days have turned into window-smashing, building-torching riots, Minnesota leaders are suggesting that many of those involved in the worst of the damage are not from here.
At a Saturday morning press conference, St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter said that he was told that all the people arrested in his city. Gov. Tim Walz said estimates were that 80% of the people protesting are not from here.
“They are not us,” Gov. Tim Walz said at a Saturday news conference. “They don’t share our values.
“Our heart and our solidarity are with folks who understand what happened Monday night to George Floyd. But these folks are not them.”
Minnesota Department of Public Safety Commissioner John Harrington said that they have begun contact tracing those arrested with online posts that are encouraging chaos.
“Who are they associated with? What platforms are they advocating for? We’ve seen things like white supremacist organizers who have posted things on platforms about coming to Minnesota,” Harrington said. “We’re checking to see if the folks we’ve made arrests on, are they connected to those platforms. We’ve been working with partners to start looking at: Is this organized crime? Is this an organized cell of terror? Where’s the linkage?
“We are in the process right now of building that information network and building that intel so we can link these folks together.”
The news conference on Saturday came in the wake of three destructive nights in Minneapolis and, to a lesser extent, St. Paul. Both cities have enacted 8 p.m. curfews, as have many suburbs, including St. Louis Park, Golden Valley, and Edina. Throughout the day Saturday, many on social media have been reporting clean up efforts, as well as donation efforts, throughout the affected areas.