“Boogaloo Bois,” Not Left-Wing Anarchists, Burned Minneapolis Police Station
When news broke that a Minneapolis police station had been set ablaze May 28 amid protests in the aftermath of George Floyd’s killing, Donald Trump immediately blamed radical left-wing “anarchists” and tweeted “These THUGS are dishonoring the memory of George Floyd, and I won’t let that happen. Any difficulty and we will assume control but, when the looting starts, the shooting starts.” Twitter flagged his message saying that it glorified violence.
Now it turns out, the violation of Twitter’s rules isn’t the only thing wrong with Trump’s tweet. It blamed the wrong group.
According to the Department of Justice (DOJ), the destruction of the third precinct police station actually was the work of the violent far right extremist “Boogaloo Bois.” U.S. Attorney Erica H. MacDonald announced Friday that the DOJ has charged a 26-year-old from Boerne, Texas, Ivan Harrison Hunter, with one count of interstate travel to incite a riot for his alleged role in ramping up violence during the protests in Minneapolis on May 27 and 28.
According to charges, Hunter, wearing a skull mask and tactical gear, shot 13 rounds into the south Minneapolis police headquarters building while people were inside. He also allegedly looted and helped set the building ablaze.
As police clashed with protesters, Hunter and other members of the Boogaloo Bois chatted via Facebook Messenger about their plans to travel to Minneapolis, according to federal court documents. One of the people Hunter coordinated with posted publicly to social media: “Lock and load boys. Boog flags are in the air, and the national network is going off,” the complaint states.” Two hours after the police precinct was set on fire, Hunter texted to another Boogaloo member “Go for police buildings,” according to charging documents.
The federal complaint also says Hunter even bragged about his role in the Minneapolis riots on Facebook, publicly proclaiming, “I helped the community burn down that police station” and “I didn’t’ protest peacefully Dude … Want something to change? Start risking felonies for what is good. The BLM protesters in Minneapolis loved me [sic] fireteam and I,” he wrote on June 11.