'Umbrella Man' Who Went Viral Smashing Windows During George Floyd Protest Suspected of Being White Nationalist Agitator
For weeks now, President Donald Trump and his allies have been portraying unrest in Portland, Oregon as a supposed preview of what all of the United States would look like under a Joe Biden presidency.
The size of the protests and the anger of the protesters multiplied after the President sent in unidentified militarized officers, who began making what Acting DHS Secretary Chad Wolf called proactive arrests, detaining protesters and taking them to undisclosed locations in non-government vehicles.
As recently as Tuesday, Republicans have amplified clips of violence at protests in order to paint all protesters as unruly or aggressive. In reality, there is a comparable amount of footage featuring police violence against peaceful protesters readily available.
The widespread protests against the murder of George Floyd and other Black Americans by police were particularly notable in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where Floyd died this past May. After police deployed tear gas and rubber bullets against protesters outside of the police station in the days after Floyd's death, the anger quickly erupted.
One of the videos that went viral was of a man clad in black with an umbrella shattering windows outside of an auto parts store.
This video was removed from YouTube. It shows exactly who broke windows at AutoZone. Please retweet and help identify the instigator. #JusticeForFloyd pic.twitter.com/D17kGL404J
— Javier Morillo 🇵🇷🏳️🌈 (@javimorillo) May 28, 2020
The video of "Umbrella Man" was promptly shared by Republicans and those against the protests as a way to discredit them.
Meanwhile, numerous protesters pointed to the aggressor's choice of attire and his unwillingness to heed the calls of fellow protesters to stop as evidence that he wasn't truly with the Black Lives Matter movement.
Now, around two months later, police have identified the subject and have come to the same conclusion.
According to the Star Tribune:
"A subsequent investigation revealed that the man was also an associate of the Aryan Cowboy Brotherhood, a small white supremacist prison and street gang based primarily in Minnesota and Kentucky. Several of its members were also present at the Stillwater incident."
The investigation further revealed the man to be a member of the overwhelmingly White Hells Angels biker gang.
The Tribune also reports that Sergeant Erika Christensen acknowledged the man's contribution to the chaos in an affidavit for a search warrant:
"This was the first fire that set off a string of fires and looting throughout the precinct and the rest of the city. Until the actions of the person your affiant has been calling 'Umbrella Man,' the protests had been relatively peaceful. The actions of this person created an atmosphere of hostility and tension. Your affiant believes that this individual's sole aim was to incite violence."
People who supported the protests weren't surprised.
Many saw this at the time. After George Floyd's murder, there was video of a white man in all Black, holding an umbrella and a hammer, knocking out the windows of an AutoZone. Turns out he was a white supremacist trying to incite George Floyd rioting. https://t.co/DhWH431XVT
— Erick Fernandez (@ErickFernandez) July 28, 2020
So it turns out that guy that smashed up the Autozone Windows in MN was a racist Hells Angel biker.
Reminder: Not only are those straight-pipe Harleys annoying, most of the riders are super racist.https://t.co/ShbNSpAxmA
(I'm sorry I don't have a non-pay-walled article.)
— Dougal! (@OKDoogl) July 28, 2020
It's almost always the white supremacists, guys. https://t.co/NQMXId0aUR
— Brandy Zadrozny (@BrandyZadrozny) July 28, 2020
But Trump assured us the only violence is from "Antifa."
MAGA is a terrorist organization.https://t.co/6OURXsiZV7
— Tea Pain (@TeaPainUSA) July 28, 2020
It isn't a far-fetched idea that some who oppose the aims of protesters infiltrate these demonstrations to create chaos and subsequently discredit every protest in the media.
How much of the intelligence behind federal agent "surges" in American cities are based on white supremacists stirring up chaos on social media as a way to frame protesters, or straight up creating it themselves?https://t.co/FVMpFRr4Ak
— Ben Collins (@oneunderscore__) July 28, 2020
This is not an isolated incident; it's a pattern of behavior from opportunistic White Supremacists who want a shroud of chaos to distort the public view of protest movements advocating for justice. The police have discovered what we already assumed.https://t.co/ldcsRSGNJ5
— Ian McConnell (@IanMcConnell) July 28, 2020
Very weird how this keeps happening! Perhaps someone should inform the AG - testifying right now & disingenuously blaming the chaos of the protests on everyone *except* white supremacists?
— KareBearScare (@KareBearScare) July 28, 2020
Simple: White supremacists do it to cause chaos, start looting, start fires, to make the peaceful protests look bad. Boogaloos have been joining in to start the next Civil War.
— Neo src (@neo_source) July 22, 2020
Coincidentally, Police in Richmond, Virginia also found that violence in the area this past weekend spurred from White supremacists who infiltrated the protests.