Public Safety
Written by Tom Steward | October 2, 2020

Authorities Keep the Pressure on Suspected Rioters and Looters from Floyd Protests

Those involved in the riots, looting and vandalism that followed the death of George Floyd in police custody had better watch their back. Federal, state and local authorities still combing through thousands of hours of video footage, surveillance photos and tips from the public plan to keep the pressure on perpetrators.

This week law enforcement charged a Moorhead man in connection with the riots that broke out May 30 in Fargo. And North Dakota U.S. Attorney Drew Wrigley made it clear the heat is still on, according to KVLY-TV.

“Every single person we can prove we can prove all of the elements of a federal offense, we will indict,” Wrigley says. “I don’t have a set number, but anybody watching the TV that night and knows about the activities that took place up the street from the courthouse understands that there is a fairly significant number.”

St. Paul cops have also doubled down on their efforts to identify and charge vandals who caused an estimated $82 million in damages during the free-for-all.

A St. Paul Police Department unit established shortly after the riots primarily focuses on hunting down suspects believed to have committed felony-level offenses. Investigators post suspects’ photos online in hopes someone will turn them in, the Pioneer Press reports.

Prosecutors recently charged a 23-year-old St. Paul woman with felony burglary, saying she entered Snelling Avenue Fine Wines six times and left with stolen merchandise in each instance. She’s also accused of burglarizing the Walgreens on Grand Avenue and Big Top Liquors and Sun Foods at University Avenue and Dale Street the same day.

Since the St. Paul Police Department’s Civil Unrest Investigative Taskforce began its work, the Ramsey County attorney’s office has brought charges in more than 60 cases, including against the 23-year-old woman. Approximately 40 more cases are in the pipeline for charging, said Cmdr. Axel Henry, who leads the task force.

The positive public response to the task force’s efforts to bring agitators to justice has only reinforced their determination.

Henry said he underestimated how much public support there would be for the task force. People have told them they’re pleased the department is taking the crimes seriously “and advocating for these businesses,” Henry said.

For people who have tips about suspects in surveillance photos, Henry wants them to know two things: they can be anonymous and any bit of information is helpful.

Now it’s up to prosecutors to do their job to hold the criminals and anarchists behind the wanton destruction that leveled so many Twin Cities businesses and neighborhoods accountable.

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