MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – During the nights of unrest following the death of George Floyd, some protesters and journalists returned to their cars, only to find their tires slashed.
On May 30, every car in the south Minneapolis Kmart parking lot had their tires punctured. Andrew Kimmel, former head of video at Buzzfeed News, and Radio Canada journalists had parked their rental cars in that lot.
According to witnesses, the National Guard was responsible. However, the National Guard says that none of its members were involved or responsible for slashing tires.
The next day, Canadian news network Global News captured live footage of law enforcement slashing the tires of a car.
Tires were slashed throughout the Twin Cities, and over a week later, the Minnesota Department of Public Safety (DPS) confirmed police and the State Patrol were responsible for these actions.
Now this is weird. Someone pointed out to us all that of the cars in the Kmart parking lot at Nicollet and Lake St. have slashed tires. The group that told us said it was the police or Natl Guard who did it. @WCCO pic.twitter.com/1nv9Rr2wsh
— Jeff Wagner (@Jeff_Wagner4) May 31, 2020
During the days of unrest, the state had activated a Multi-Agency Command Center (MACC) to coordinate law enforcement groups. The implemented strategies targeted individual situations, and were not a general order, according to DPS.
However, on May 31, the Anoka County Sheriff’s Office was reportedly given the command to “disable illegally abandoned vehicles via tire deflation.” They slashed the tires of two cars abandoned on the Washington Avenue roadway over I-35W.
They did not participate in the Kmart parking lot tire slashings, according to their statement. No agency has come forward to confirm their involvement with this incident.
“Life safety issues were a concern due to the previous two days of civil unrest in the City of Minneapolis, as rioters had used unoccupied vehicles as weapons,” read Anoka County’s statement.
The “attacks” which utilized vehicles, according to DPS, include instances where cars drove through protests at high speeds and one instance where a car had been pushed towards law enforcement while it was running. Some cars also contained rocks, concrete, and sticks, they said.
To read more about the May 30 protests, click here.