It appears Black Lives Matter activists are so anxious for an excuse to riot that they won’t even make sure the police were the ones who pulled the trigger when a black man loses his life. On Wednesday night, a large crowd started breaking windows and looting stores like Target at Nicollet Mall in Minneapolis following news of a black man dying after police pursued him. As it turned out, the man was a suspect in a murder case and he committed suicide to avoid arrest.
“When I got down here witnesses told me that a man that was wanted for a homicide at 2 o’clock earlier today was approached and did not want to be taken in and took his gun out and shot himself,” community activist KG Wilson told CBS Minnesota. “We keep trying to tell the crowd this… but they [weren’t] listening at the time because of past distrust, which I understand.”
“But yes, we have seen the video with our own eyes that this man who actually, I’m told, killed somebody at 2 o’clock today was not wanting to be apprehended and shot himself,” Wilson added. “So, I need anybody watching this to stand down and do not go tearing up the city.”
— Jeff Wagner (@Jeff_Wagner4) August 27, 2020
Indeed, Minneapolis Police released a graphic video showing the suspect committing suicide.
*WARNING: This video contains graphic images* This evening, a murder suspect committed suicide as police approached them at 8th & Nicollet. No officer weapons were fired. This is a tragedy for our community that is still hurting. Our condolences go to the families of the victims. pic.twitter.com/2NyE4os7P0
— Minneapolis Police (@MinneapolisPD) August 27, 2020
Even so, angry people started looting a local Target. According to CBS Minnesota, “Crowds also shattered glass at businesses along and near Nicollet Mall, including IDS Center, Nordstrom Rack, Foot Locker, Haskell’s Wine and Spirits, Brit’s Pub, The Newsroom, Devil’s Advocate and Caribou Coffee, among several others. By 9 p.m., the looting spread to a couple blocks south of Nicollet Mall at a strip mall off of LaSalle and Grant streets, and there were reports of smash-and-grabs spreading west to Hennepin Avenue.”
BLM are rioting and looting in Minneapolis again after a murder suspect committed suicide. The rioters are falsely claiming police killed him. There’s a graphic video proving what happened. They don’t care. pic.twitter.com/hIN6YHGfWt
— Mark Dice (@MarkDice) August 27, 2020
Mayor Jacob Frey instituted a 9:30 p.m. curfew and about 90 minutes later, Gov. Tim Walz (D-Minn.) declared a peacetime emergency and deployed the Minnesota National Guard. The State Patrol also dispatched 150 officers to help make arrests and stop the looting.
Looting spread to Saks Fifth Avenue.
More looting in downtown Minneapolis. They’ve now breached the Saks 5th Avenue store on 6th and Nicollet and people are making out with lots of goods. pic.twitter.com/tgUIyoIMvf
— Courtney Godfrey (@courtneygodfrey) August 27, 2020
This lawless behavior is not justified even in the case of a truly worrisome death like the police killing of George Floyd. It is even worse to see looters destroying local businesses in the name of justice after a murder suspect tragically took his own life.
Every life matters and that emphatically includes every black life. If the man who committed suicide truly did shoot someone, his victim’s life mattered. Police were right to pursue him. Americans should lament the suicide. But angry Minnesotans have no right to take out their frustration over a supposed injustice on innocent business owners in the name of dismantling a supposedly racist system.
This looting, inspired by fake news, proves tragically revealing. It seems there is a contingent of lawless people who consider themselves activists and are chomping at the bit for an excuse to loot and riot. Not only are they unwilling to suspend judgement when the police may have been in the right, but it seems they are unwilling to even check the facts of an alleged police shooting before touting it as a justification to wreak havoc on their neighbors’ property and livelihoods.
Tyler O’Neil is the author of Making Hate Pay: The Corruption of the Southern Poverty Law Center. Follow him on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.