MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Prosecutors say a 26-year-old central Minnesota man pleaded guilty Thursday for his role in the burning of Minneapolis’ Third Precinct police station during the unrest following George Floyd’s death.
In a statement, U.S. Attorney Erica MacDonald says Bryce Williams, of Staples, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit arson in connection to the May 28 destruction of the south Minneapolis police station.
According to his plea, Williams was one of hundreds of people who gathered outside the building three nights after Floyd died in Minneapolis police custody. Surveillance video captured Williams holding a Molotov cocktail as others lit it and set the building on fire. Williams was also captured throwing a box onto the flames.
Three other men have been indicted for arson in the precinct’s destruction.
Floyd, a Black man, died on May 25 after being arrested over allegedly trying to pass a fake $20 bill at a south Minneapolis convenience store. Bystander video of the arrest showed one of the four responding officers, Derek Chauvin, kneeling on Floyd’s neck for several minutes as the handcuffed man repeatedly said he couldn’t breathe.
Outrage erupted in Minnesota and across the nation after the bystander went viral. Nights of rioting in the Twin Cities left hundreds of buildings damaged. Many were ransacked and burned.
Chauvin and the other three officers are awaiting trial. Chauvin is facing murder and manslaughter charges while the other three officers are charged with aiding and abetting.
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