*The Minneapolis Star-Tribune is reporting that the “umbrella man” seen in a viral video smashing the windows of an Auto Zone store during the George Floyd protests in Minneapolis is suspected to be a 32-year-old member of the biker gang Hell’s Angels, who police said were attempting to spark a race war in a demonstration that until then had been peaceful. A subsequent investigation revealed that he was also an associate of the Aryan Cowboy Brotherhood, a white supremacist prison and street gang based primarily in Minnesota and Kentucky.
The man, who wore a gas mask, dressed in all black and carried an umbrella during his destruction spree, has so far not been charged with a crime, which is why the Star Tribune is not publishing his name. Theories about his identity had flooded social media, including strong rumors that he was a St. Paul police officer, based on a tweet citing information from a “close friend” who claimed to have been married to the officer.
Minneapolis police arson investigator Erika Christensen said the man’s actions at the AutoZone on East Lake Street set off a chain reaction that led to days of looting and rioting. The building was later burned to the ground.
Watch video of his destruction below:
Police have also connected the 32-year-old man to a widely-publicized incident in Stillwater late last month, in which a Muslim woman was confronted by a group of men wearing white supremacist gear.
The Star-Tribune reported:
Christensen wrote in the affidavit that she watched “innumerable hours” of videos on social media platforms like Tik Tok, Snapchat, Instagram and YouTube to try to identify the suspect, to no avail. Investigators finally caught a break when a tipster e-mailed the Minneapolis Police Department identifying the man as a member of the Hell’s Angels biker gang who “wanted to sow discord and racial unrest by breaking out the windows and writing what he did on the double red doors,” the affidavit said.