As Minneapolis picks up the pieces after a fourth night of rioting, questions about who's actually doing the damage are beginning to emerge.
At a press conference Saturday morning, Mayor Jacob Frey stated emphatically that the people setting fires are not from Minneapolis:
"The people that are doing this are not Minneapolis residents," Frey said. "They are coming in largely from outside of the city, from outside of the region to prey on everything that we have built over the last several decades."
He said that as the protests wore on, there were "more and more people (coming from outside Minneapolis) looking to cause violence in our communities."
His assertion comes amid reports of out-of-state license plates on cars appearing in and around the riots:
St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter also spoke, telling reporters that “every single person we arrested last night, I'm told, was from out of state" (starts at 18:00):
This echoes Gov. Tim Walz's comments on the instigators of the violence; at the same press conference, the governor said that "about 80" percent of those being arrested for such violence are not Minnesotans, and suggested that they're organizing their efforts on the dark web.
These comments reflect a broader trend emerging across the country.
On social media, there are many first-hand accounts of so-called accelerationists — often reported to be white — taking advantage of protests in Atlanta, New York and elsewhere, in some of the cases against the pleas of black protesters to stop the violence:
Indeed, there has been much talk of the "umbrella man," a mysterious figure who was captured on video instigating the attack on the Lake Street Auto Zone in Minneapolis.