Minneapolis police officers slashed tires on parked cars during recent protests in the city, the Star-Tribune reports. Two agencies have acknowledged doing so after Mother Jones published videos of cops puncturing tires in a K-Mart parking lot on May 30 and on a highway overpass the following day. Both locations were near large protests amid ongoing unrest over the deaths of black people at the hands of police, and both were used as police staging areas. According to reports, all the cars in the parking lot had their tires slashed, including some belonging to journalists covering the protests. Now, the Department of Public Safety has acknowledged the Minnesota State Patrol took part, and a local sheriff's department has done the same. The statements:
- From the Public Safety department: "State Patrol troopers strategically deflated tires … in order to stop behaviors such as vehicles driving dangerously and at high speeds in and around protesters and law enforcement. ... While not a typical tactic, vehicles were being used as dangerous weapons and inhibited our ability to clear areas and keep areas safe where violent protests were occurring."
- From the Anoka County Sheriff's Department: Deputies were following orders from the state's Multiagency Command Center when they joined the troopers in cutting tires on Washington Avenue, a spokesperson says. "You could not get any tow trucks in there" due to mass protests, he explains.
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