A man who was suspected to have been captured in a viral video holding a black umbrella while smashing windows with a sledgehammer in the wake of George Floyd’s death has been identified in an affidavit as an affiliate of the white-supremacist prison gang Aryan Cowboys, numerous sources reported.
Mitchell Wesley Carlson, 32, hasn’t been charged with a crime, although a judge granted police permission to search his phone records, the Wall Street Journal reported. Dubbed the “Umbrella Man,” the individual was recorded on video taking a four-pound sledgehammer to an AutoZone store near where Floyd was killed and spray painting “free shit for everyone zone” on the doors, the affidavit said.
A hooded Minneapolis man nicknamed “Umbrella Man” seen smashing windows during George Floyd protests has allegedly been identified as a white supremacist (written in “we told y’all”) pic.twitter.com/UYQ1BuMezp
— Reese Waters (@reesewaters) July 29, 2020
“Within a short time after the looting started, the Auto Zone was set on fire. This was the first fire that set off a string of fires and looting throughout the precinct and the rest of the City,” according to the affidavit.
“Until the actions of … ‘Umbrella Man,’ the protests had been relatively peaceful.”
A tipster informed police of Carlson’s s involvement, according to the Journal. The tipster described the suspect as someone who “wanted to sow discord and racial unrest by breaking out the windows and writing what he did on the double red doors,” according to ABC.
The Aryan Cowboys is a white supremacist group in Minnesota. Police say Carlson was photographed in an incident in Stillwater, Minn. where a group wearing Aryan Cowboy leather vests allegedly intimidated a Muslim woman, the Journal reported.
Days after riots and looting broke out in various cities, Attorney General William Barr said that the “voice of peaceful and legitimate protests” were “hijacked by violent and radical elements” consisting of “outside radicals and agitators” or sought to exploit “the situation to pursue their own separate, violent, and extremist agenda.” (RELATED: ‘Domestic Terrorism’: Bill Barr Condemns Riots In Statement)
Several other individuals who appeared to be self-styled anarchists were arrested in Minneapolis on arson-related charges after being suspected of stoking the fire at the Minneapolis Police Department’s Third Precinct following Floyd’s death.