As protests continue to erupt across the nation following the death of George Floyd, some people on the front lines have suggested that outside agitators have caused the destruction. In particular, a video has emerged on social media that alleges destructive behavior from a St. Paul police officer.
The video, posted by Twitter user @dyllyp, shows a White man, dressed in all-black with a gas mask on his face, knocking out windows at an AutoZone in Minneapolis. Many believe that he helped to start the vandalism that turned into chaos on the night of May 28.
In the video, a Black man confronted the agitator and asked why he was being destructive. The White man became belligerent and threatened the Black man and others who filmed his vandalism.
The White man was initially identified as Jacob Pederson of the St. Paul Police Department. However, in a statement on Twitter, the department disputed those claims.
“We are aware of the social media post that erroneously identifies one of our officers as the person caught on video breaking windows in Minneapolis,” the statement read.
RUMOR CONTROL …
We are aware of the social media post that erroneously identifies one of our officers as the person caught on video breaking windows in Minneapolis.
We've seen it. We've looked into it. And it's false.
— Saint Paul Police Department (@sppdmn) May 29, 2020
Many activists are using social media to identify provocateurs who may be attempting to taint the message of the peaceful protesters.
To those part of #GeorgeFloydprotest please make sure you have Leaders with you to ensure that you don't have #paidlooters to make you look bad also remember cop's are going undercover as #provocateurs #thebusinessofprotesthttps://t.co/YZaWXFNYCT
— Emilio Perez (@CEOEnterpriseNX) May 28, 2020
View video of the alleged incident below.
Here’s video of an undercover cop in Minneapolis smashing windows while a member of the community tries to stop him https://t.co/OJKldIlcHD
— Dylan (@dyllyp) May 28, 2020