Police say that "Umbrella Man," the apparent protester caught on a viral video smashing the windows of a Minneapolis auto parts store with a sledgehammer while carrying an umbrella, was actually a white supremacist trying to incite rioting over the death of George Floyd, which had taken place two days prior. The announcement puts to rest arguments between those who long believed "Umbrella Man," who was confronted by protesters asking him to stop, was actually a plant meant to derail otherwise peaceful protests and those who pointed out other looting had taken place before he was spotted smashing windows.
"This was the first fire that set off a string of fires and looting throughout the precinct and the rest of the city," reads a search warrant affidavit filed in court this week. "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." Police say a tip led to the identification of the suspect, who has not yet been charged. He is reportedly associated with the Aryan Cowboys, a white supremacist prison and street gang, per CNN. The Minneapolis Star-Tribune has much more on the incident. (Read more George Floyd stories.)