The George Floyd riots that devastated the Twin Cities the week following Floyd’s death on Memorial Day last year weren’t the end of it. We had a follow-on eruption at the end of August in the heart of downtown Minneapolis when a crowd went on an incredibly destructive rampage of rioting, looting, and arson. The Center of the American Experiment’s John Phelan concisely recounted the events this way:
In the afternoon, a man was shot dead in downtown. A little later, the suspect was located by police on Nicollet Mall between 8th Street and 9th Street and, as officers approached, he shot himself dead.
As word spread on social media the story got out that police had, in fact, killed the guy, and people quickly took to the streets.
To protest? Perhaps, but ransacking Target is a funny way to do that.
I took a look at Reid Forgrave’s Star Tribune story on the rampage in “Emotional in Minneapolis.” Forgrave’s story overflowed with absurd apologetics. The gist of Forgrave’s story was that emotions had gotten out of hand. Forgrave gave us a riot of excuses. I asked, after such knowledge what Forgraveness?
Three Twin Cities men were charged by the United States Attorney for Minnesota in connection with the events that evening. Alpha News covered the indictment here.
One of the three — Victor Devon Edwards (here on Facebook)– was convicted of the charged offenses in federal court after a jury trial this past summer. The two other defendants charged each pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit arson.
Edwards was sentenced yesterday to 100 months in prison by Judge Patrick Schiltz. That should give him some time to cool off.
The press release of the United States Attorney for Minnesota brings the story up to date:
A St. Paul man was sentenced to 100 months in prison followed by two years of supervised release for burning, looting, and damaging stores and businesses in downtown Minneapolis on August 26, 2020. Acting U.S. Attorney Charles J. Kovats made the announcement after U.S. District Judge Patrick J. Schiltz sentenced the defendant.
According to the evidence presented at trial, on the evening of August 26, 2020, Victor Devon Edwards, 32, drove to downtown Minneapolis following a city-wide curfew to join a large crowd that had gathered following false rumors regarding police involvement in the death of a man on Nicollet Mall earlier that evening. Over the course of approximately three hours, Edwards engaged in acts of riot, arson, and other property damage and destruction in downtown Minneapolis. Edwards was captured on video surveillance participating in the rioting and looting at Saks Off Fifth and entering other closed stores and businesses that evening, including Caribou Coffee, Target Headquarters, and Brit’s Pub on Nicollet Mall. Edwards was captured on video surveillance helping to break into the Target Headquarters building and adding fuel to a fire set inside the building, which ultimately caused almost a million dollars in damages to Target. Edwards was then captured on video surveillance entering the nearby Brit’s Pub, which, shortly after he went in, became engulfed in flames.
During and after his criminal activity downtown that evening, Edwards bragged about his participation in the rioting and looting. Edwards also took orders from friends for items to loot. The next morning, Edwards took a video of himself flashing a large amount of cash and saying, “On the looting side. . .” He also admitted that he got “MK purses and money” in text messages with his friends.
On August 12, 2021, Edwards was convicted by a federal jury of one count of riot and one count of arson.
That’s the good news. The bad news (a small piece of it, anyway) is that the Star Tribune hasn’t gotten around to covering yesterday’s sentencing. It hasn’t gotten around to reconciling Forgrave’s story with the facts either.
When it last touched the story, the Star Tribune noted that all three of these emotional gentlemen had felony records in Minnesota. Edwards was convicted in 2016 for third-degree criminal sexual conduct. He also has prior convictions for theft, drug possession, and child endangerment. Edwards’s record must have aggravated Edwards’s sentence in this case.