Cornered murder suspect kills himself; mob accuses police of killing him and sets off looting downtown Minneapolis
Last night offered a warp-speed example of mob violence triggered by utterly bogus charges of police misbehavior resulting in the sack of the premier shopping district of a major American city. The disgraceful incident happened in Minneapolis, where I grew up, and there is a personal connection to one of the targets of the phony outrage that I will explain below.
The incident began just after 6 P.M., when a murder suspect killed himself rather than be apprehended by police. The incident was captured on surveillance cameras, which the police quickly shared with local news outlets. Here is a tweet from Kent Erdahl of KARE TV showing the suspect about to kill himself:
Minneapolis police have just shown us video from a city surveillance camera that appears to show a murder suspect die by suicide as officers were closing in on him earlier tonight. This is a freeze frame from the second before it happened... pic.twitter.com/q1rVeDgCm0— Kent Erdahl (@kenterdahl) August 27, 2020
There was no doubt that police were blameless, but that did not stop bystanders from immediately castigating the police with the same sort of bogus claims that led to mob violence in Ferguson, Mo. and elsewhere, even as they attended to the bleeding corpse of the suicided perp:
Bait Video footage of Minneapolis Suicide— SS Capital S.A.®️ (@SSCapitalLLC) August 27, 2020
The mob began pillaging stores along the Nicollet Mall, the Minneapolis version of Chicago's Magnificent Mile or New York's Fifth Avenue. The corporate headquarters and showplace store of Target happens to be located on the Nicollet Mall, in two large skyscrapers. Looters helped themselves to stuff they wanted but didn't want to pay for:
Seattle-based Nordstrom's was also looted:
Ppl breaking into Nordstrom's pic.twitter.com/2oWqy7Pk0S— Andy Mannix (@AndrewMannix) August 27, 2020
And so was 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
Liquor stores are a traditional target of looters, for obvious reasons. There's nothing quite like buzzed looting, I gather, and during the first night of Minneapolis riots that kicked off the national wave of violence following the death in custody of George Floyd, a neighborhood liquor store, Minnehaha Liquors, was burned to the ground.
But downtown Minneapolis’s Haskell's Liquors that was looted last night is a different sort of retailer, where bottles of Gallo Ripple and cheap fortified wines can't be found. Haskell's is the leading wine importer and distributor in the state of Minnesota, a haven for lovers of fine wine. People like my late dad, who became a serious student of wine, made trips to Bordeaux and other European wine regions and was offered a job as their wine buyer (he was tempted but stayed with the practice of law). It appears that the predators merely helped themselves to the stock and didn't torch the place.
Looting in downtown Minneapolis. Haskell’s liquor store and Medical Arts building included. This is all linked to alleged suicide of suspect in earlier homicide. Crowds down here were convinced he was shot by police. pic.twitter.com/zaIKUw8IlC— Courtney Godfrey (@courtneygodfrey) August 27, 2020
These were not people stealing out of desperation; these were violent thugs who wanted nice stuff but were unwilling to work and earn and pay for it themselves. Any excuse will do.
At least this time, Minnesota's Governor Walz and Minneapolis's Mayor Frey did their jobs instead of dithering the way they did in May and called in reinforcements, but not before the looters helped themselves.
Minneapolis, it’s time to heal. We must rebuild and recover. Dangerous, unlawful behavior will not be tolerated. The State Patrol is headed to Minneapolis to help restore order. I remain in close contact with the city and every state resource stands ready to help bring peace.— Governor Tim Walz (@GovTimWalz) August 27, 2020
BREAKING: @MayorFrey says he has requested the National Guard. Curfew in effect immediately.— Julie Nelson (@JulieNelsonKARE) August 27, 2020
Photo credit: Twitter video screen grab.