After rumors persisted on social media, St. Paul Police Department has released a video to debunk claims that one of its officers is the infamous "umbrella man" who helped sparked property damage and arsons near the Minneapolis 3rd Precinct on May 27.
Despite having already denied it, St. Paul PD says that people continue to share images claiming the mysterious vandal was Officer Jacob Pederson.
But on Monday, police have released timestamped footage taken from the day of the riots that it says shows Pederson going into the Richard H. Rowan Public Safety Training Center in St. Paul on the day of the protests and subsequent rioting outside the 3rd Precinct.
It also released a timeline that shows that Pederson didn't leave the center till 6:38 p.m., six minutes after umbrella man smashed the windows to the AutoZone, which sparked looting and arsons opposite the police station.
“We knew right away that our officer was not involved in instigating the unrest in Minneapolis because we knew exactly where he was at the time—and he was in Saint Paul,” said Saint Paul Police Chief Todd Axtell.
"Unfortunately, some people continue to spread the lie – either out of genuine concern, a lack of knowledge about the situation, or maliciousness – so we’ve taken the extraordinary step of releasing the video that shows exactly where the officer was."
"This type of disinformation can jeopardize the officer’s reputation and safety and chip away at the trust this police department has worked so hard to build with its community," Axtell added.
Here's what the video shows, perpolice:
- 3:25 p.m. – Officer Pederson drives a silver/gray pickup into the training center parking lot and backs into a parking space
- 3:28 p.m. – He walks into the training center through the front doors
- 3:30 p.m. – He goes out to his truck and pulls away from the parking spot but does not leave the lot
- 3:35 p.m. – He walks back into the building through the front door
- 4 p.m. – He walks out of the building, to the parking lot and retrieves police gear
- 4:01 p.m. – He walks back into the building through the front door.
- 6:38 p.m. – Officer Pederson walks out the back door to load equipment into a vehicle.