Skip to main content
Publish date:

BCA finds 'no criminal wrongdoing' among participants at 'Storm the Capitol' rally

Inflammatory comments were made by speakers, but no charges will be brought.
Author:

A review by the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension of comments made at the "Storm the Capitol" rally on St. Paul found no evidence of "criminal wrongdoing."

That's according to House Speaker Melissa Hortman, who announced the results of the BCA's findings Wednesday afternoon.

A large crowd gathered outside the Minnesota Capitol on Jan. 6 – at the same time an insurrection was ongoing at the U.S. Capitol – and several inflammatory statements were made by speakers that were of sufficient concern that police removed the 14-year-old son of Gov. Tim Walz from the Governor's Mansion, to which some attendees later marched.

The comments include one speaker, a GOP activist from Woodbury, warning state leaders and judges who upheld the presidential election as well as COVID-19 measures: "And these other judges that we’re coming for, we’re going to come for you in a way where we are going to back you into a corner."

She added: "My god you guys, we are going to fight, we are going to go down, there's going to be casualties. I'll be the first casualty, I don’t care. We are not going to give up."

While the comments were not warranting of criminal action, Hortman was highly critical of the rhetoric used on that day, and said that while no laws may have been broken, those who make such inflammatory comments must be held accountable.

"In the United States, the First Amendment’s protection of freedom of speech is a bedrock right," she said. 

"The First Amendment permits speech that is false, misleading, and hateful, and it is a high bar for an individual’s speech to cross the line and to constitute criminal activity. The BCA concluded that bar was not met in this case. Nevertheless, false, misleading, and hateful speech has consequences. It creates an environment of fear and division, can cause harm to individuals targeted by such speech, and it makes it more difficult for us to work together and solve problems."

"Those who engage in this kind of speech must face accountability from family, friends, neighbors, and voters for the harm caused by their speech, even when the speech does not constitute criminal wrongdoing," she said.

Next Up

D'Angelo Russell

D'Lo's late takeover helps Timberwolves win double-OT thriller

Russell caught fire to help the Timberwolves get back to .500.

Gopher Football

Gophers suffocate Badgers, reclaim Paul Bunyan's Axe

Minnesota picked up its first home win over the Badgers since 2003.

Meeker County Sheriff's Office

Boy, 6, run over after falling off trailer in Meeker Co. tree farm accident

He was airlifted to Hennepin County Medical Center with internal injuries.

Target store

Target unveils deals for 2-day 'Cyber Monday' event

The promotion kicks off Sunday, November 28.

Screen Shot 2021-11-27 at 9.59.30 AM

Edina police warn of recent burglary trend targeting garages and vehicles

The Edina Police Department is increasing patrols in affected neighborhoods in response to the trend.

Screen Shot 2021-11-27 at 9.03.06 AM

Charges: Man shot Uber Eats driver making a delivery in Cottage Grove

Otis Donnell Shipp was charged with second-degree attempted murder after turning himself in on Wednesday.

Screen Shot 2021-11-27 at 7.36.14 AM

Waterfront hotel in Duluth sustains damage in kitchen fire

Authorities estimate the damage at around $75,000.

Screen Shot 2021-11-27 at 7.15.18 AM

Large groups of thieves target 2 Twin Cities Best Buys on Black Friday

It bears similarities to the flash-mob style thefts seen recently in California.

Karl-Anthony Towns

Timberwolves' winning streak snapped at five games

The Wolves' bid for their longest winning streak since 2014 came up short.

Screen Shot 2020-08-14 at 6.45.53 PM

Teen arrested over fatal shooting of 5-year-old boy in Brooklyn Park

Police say the teen was filming a social media video while handling a gun.

Joe Biden

President Biden coming to Minnesota to promote Bipartisan Infrastructure Law

Tuesday's trip follows passage of the $1.2 trillion Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal.

Related

Screen Shot 2020-05-30 at 2.04.47 PM

Walz activates National Guard in response to possible threats to the Capitol

The FBI has warned that right-wing, anti-government extremists may be plotting an attack.

Screen Shot 2021-01-07 at 10.53.22 AM

KSTP says Jay Kolls' Capitol story fell below its standards

The Twin Cities ABC affiliate says 'we will do better going forward.'

Screen Shot 2021-01-07 at 10.53.22 AM

KSTP's Jay Kolls under fire for story blaming anti-fascists for Capitol insurrection

Kolls was the reporter behind the notorious "Pointergate" controversy.

1024px-DC_Capitol_Storming_IMG_7965

Another Minnesotan arrested in connection with Capitol insurrection

The 26-year-old from Lindstrom is facing federal charges.

state patrol at governor's residence jan 6 2020

MN House Republicans condemn violence in DC, rhetoric in St. Paul

"Those who made threats of violence at the rally in St. Paul should be investigated and held accountable," the letter states.