Liberals obsess over origin of rioters, ignore vacuum of leadership from Walz and Frey

Liberal Twitter is obsessed with the home addresses of rioters who looted and burned down Minneapolis last summer. The narrative goes something like this: It wasn’t just people from Minneapolis who burned down their own city. Rioters came from all over — the suburbs, Greater Minnesota, even from other states.

First, it’s not true. Second, it’s not even the point.

Gov. Walz began the narrative in real time, stating on May 30, 2020 that white supremacists and even the drug cartels were responsible for the violence. “I think our best estimate of what we heard are about 20 percent are Minnesotans, and 80 percent are outside,” Gov. Walz said at the time, repeating the unproven allegation.

It didn’t take long for the facts to come out, including this report from KARE 11:

Walz had to walk it back a few days later admitting that he “may have been overly optimistic in [my] hope that it wasn’t Minnesotans doing the worst damage.”

But the damage was done. The lie dominated the headlines and his loyal followers picked up and repeated the message over and over again, even though the facts didn’t back up the lie. Sound familiar?

When one of the rioters was identified from the Brainerd Lakes area (home of Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka) the liberals pounced: “It was Paul Gazelka’s people who did this!” Therefore, the whole state should pay to rebuild Minneapolis.

The liberal “big lie” continues even today on Twitter from DFL State Senators:

Never mind her comment about “mostly peaceful protesters.” Sen. Murphy repeats the lie that white nationalists who live far from Minneapolis were responsible for the riots.

The facts

According to the Review of Lawlessness and Government Responses to Minnesota’s 2020 Riots from the Minnesota Senate Judiciary and Transportation Committees:

Over 77% of those arrested were from the Metro area of Minnesota of which over 56% were from the City of Minneapolis; a little over 15% were from out of state; and a total of 5% came from Greater Minnesota

The data is clear – an overwhelming majority of rioters were locals.

But that’s not even the point

Conservatives’ main problem with the riots is a lack of leadership on the part of Gov. Tim Walz and Mayor Jacob Frey. We don’t want to pay to rebuild the city because we hold their leadership responsible for what happened. It wasn’t an act of God like a flood or a fire. Yes, the rioters have to be held accountable for their actions, but most of the property damage can be attributed to the fact that Tim Walz froze for two days and the city burned down.

Senator Scott Newman, Chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee and co-author of the Senate report on the riots concluded:

“It is clear there were opportunities early on to avoid that level of desperation and danger, but poor decision-making and an alarming leadership vacuum caused the situation to spiral into the dire events we all witnessed.”

Gov. Walz and his team got stuck in an ideological and philosophical discussion about whether the use of force was the appropriate response to Mr. Floyd’s death, and whether more force would exacerbate the problem. The truth was it was too late for that discussion and Walz needed to call in the National Guard fully two days earlier than he did to put down the unrest and stop the rioting.

Walz and his team gave voice to this conflict many times during and after the riotous week of May 25, 2020, beginning with his press conference on May 29, 2020.

“I want to be very clear and speak to that community the very tools that we need to use to get control to make sure that buildings aren’t burned and the rule of law collapses are those very institutional tools that have led to that grief and pain.”

“I want to just call out very, very clearly as we put a presence on the street to restore order it is to open that space to seek justice and heal what happened I will not in any way not acknowledge that there’s going to be that pain but my first and foremost responsibility to the state of Minnesota is the safety and security of all citizens – we cannot have the looting and the recklessness that went on…”

“I also want to think about what happens when we don’t have that. People who are concerned about that police presence of an overly armed camp in their neighborhoods that is not seen in communities where children of people who look like me run to the police, others have to run from.”

“And it does not escape me that we are here on the catalyst that lit this spark by what happened with the police detainment of George Floyd and the idea that a reporter would have been taken while another police action was in play is inexcusable… This is about having an aggressive approach to understanding what the community needs but not coming in heavy-handed with them, but to create space with a story can be told in a situation like this even if you’re clearing an area we have got to ensure that there is a safe spot for journalism to tell the story.”

“And I want to just be clear there’s philosophically an argument to be made that an armed presence on the ground in the midst of where we just had a police killing is seen as a catalyst.”

“There was a decision during the day whether, did you occupy the entire city and shut it down after those 24 hours? In retrospect I’m assuming that yes we would say that. But at the time and again we will not know it just proving the negative, would it have simply started that movement faster and would we have seen it moved out of the 3rd Precinct.”

“You can’t have civil order deteriorate, and then you have to make a calculated decision about the force going in there – Does it escalate it? Does it stop it? Does it endanger civilians and the force going in there?”

“I want to come back to that again, the more of those things you use, the more those are viewed as the oppressive things that lead to much of this in the first place.”

This is why conservatives don’t want to fund the rebuilding of Minneapolis. It’s not about the rioters – it’s about the leadership that allowed it to happen. How can we be sure it won’t happen again? What changes will be made to the response to future riots? As long as leaders like Mayor Frey and Gov. Walz are in charge (and in denial), rebuilding Minneapolis will be a tough sell.