On May 28, two days after the killing of George Floyd, angry demonstrators hit the streets to protest police killings, and a tall man dressed completely in black, carrying a black umbrella and wielding a sledgehammer was caught on camera destroying the windows of an auto parts store. Known as “Umbrella Man,” after searching for two months, the Minneapolis Police Department (MPD) has linked him to a white supremacy group, the New York Times reported Wednesday (July 28).
Initially police had trouble identifying the suspect, but after a tip came in about his identity, MPD used other images—including a driver’s license—to identify the man whom they say is affiliated with the motorcycle gang Hells Angels, the Times reported.
“This was the first fire that set off a string of fires and looting throughout the precinct and the rest of the city,” arson investigator Erika Christensen wrote in a search warrant affidavit, the Star Tribune reported. “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.”
According to the Tribune, the 32-year-old suspect has a history of violence. The paper linked him to a June incident in Stillwater, where men wearing white supremacist garb harassed a Muslim mom, while she was with her child. While police officials seem to have zeroed in on the 32-year-old suspect, the Times reported that there has yet to be an arrest and the Tribune wrote that neither the MPD, nor the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, have offered comments on the case.