A Minnesota man who allegedly bragged on social media about being among the first people present for the burning of the Minneapolis Police Department’s Third Precinct has been arrested on arson charges, numerous sources reported.
Bryce Michael Williams, 26, was arrested and charged with conspiracy to commit arson after authorities say he was captured in a video standing near the entrance of the Third Precinct on May 28 holding a Molotov cocktail as others tried to ignite it, Twin Cities reported.
— U.S. Attorney MN (@DMNnews) June 17, 2020
Williams made his initial court appearance Wednesday. His arrest follows that of several others who were arrested for helping stoke the fire that engulfed the Minneapolis police precinct the same week of the death of George Floyd, who died after a police officer knelt on his neck for nearly 9 minutes.
Investigators identified Williams in surveillance footage from the police station and from social media posts. In videos posted to his TikTok account, Williams was seen standing in front of the burning station wearing clothing matching that from the surveillance footage he was allegedly seen in. The criminal complaint also states that William’s face was visible in another video where he’s allegedly seen standing near the precinct, Twin Cities reported.
Williams also told The Nate Thirty Show that he participated in the riots during an online interview. “I participated in the riots, of course,” Williams told The Nate Thirty Show. “I’m with my people.” He added that he was “there when they first burned down the police station,” and that rioting was justified as a form of protest, while looting was not, according to the CBS Minnesota affiliate.
When Williams was asked if burning buildings is part of the rioting, he replies “yeah, definitely, that’s part of rioting, it’s mass destruction — that’s what rioting is, it’s mass destruction.”
Williams is the latest person to be arrested in relation to the burning of the police precinct. Dylan Shakespeare Robinson, 22, was arrested Sunday in the parking lot of a ski resort in Colorado and charged Tuesday with aiding and abetting the arson of the precinct May 28. (RELATED: Man Arrested In Colorado For Allegedly Lighting Molotov Cocktail Used To Blaze Minnesota Police Precinct)
Dylan Shakespeare Robinson appears by remote video for 1st Federal Court appearance on arson charges related to burning of Minneapolis Police Station. Media has to listen by phone. #kdvr pic.twitter.com/Bd8GuJ7ntJ
— Rob Low (@RobLowTV) June 16, 2020
Branden Michael Wolfe, 23, had also taken several items from the building, including a 9mm pistol magazine and police radio, according to authorities, and was recently arrested and charged with aiding and abetting arson.