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Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Four men indicted on arson charges in connection with Minneapolis precinct fire

Four men in their 20s are accused of burning down the building

A federal grand jury has indicted four Minnesota men on arson charges in the burning of the Minneapolis police’s Third District police building.

Dylan Shakespeare Robinson, 22; Davon De-Andre Turner, 24; Bryce Michael Williams, 26; and Branden Michael Wolfe, 23 were indicted for setting the fire.

Williams and Turner allegedly “lit a Molotov cocktail,” while Wolfe allegedly “pushed a barrel into a fire at the entrance of the Third Precinct building to accelerate an existing fire,” The Minneapolis Star Tribune reported.

According to the indictment, Robinson and an unknown person “lit an incendiary device,” and that device was then tossed by another unknown person.

George Floyd, Minneapolis Third Precinct fire
Protesters cheer as the Third Police Precinct burns behind them on May 28, 2020, in Minneapolis, Minnesota. As unrest continues after the death of George Floyd police abandoned the precinct building, allowing protesters to set fire to it. (Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images)

A crowd of protesters chanted, “Burn it down, burn it down,” according to KSTP, an ABC News affiliate in Minneapolis. After the police department fence was torn down by trespassers, the four young men, along with unidentified co-conspirators, entered the building. 

Despite the arrests, federal investigators are still seeking tips and information regarding the fires at the police district and other businesses during the unrest in Minneapolis in late May.

The Minneapolis Star Tribune reports that the fire was set three days after George Floyd’s death.

Floyd died on May 25 during an arrest by four Minneapolis police officers, who have since been charged with murder and accessory to murder. Protests began in Minneapolis after a bystander’s video of his last moments went viral.

Robinson, Wolfe, and Williams were already facing federal charges in the fire, but today’s indictment combined their cases, according to the Star-Tribune.

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