Local authorities from the governor on down have utterly failed to control, or in any way deal with, the riots that have devastated much of Minneapolis and some of St. Paul over the last four nights. Desperate to dodge responsibility, Governor Tim Walz and others have blamed “outside agitators” for the riots. Walz said in a press conference late last night, “I think our best estimate of what we heard are about 20 percent are Minnesotans, and 80 percent are outside.” Mayors Jacob Frey and Melvin Carter have sounded the same theme (Carter: “Every single person we arrested last night I’m told was from out of state.”) They have even hinted that “white supremacists” from other states may be responsible. In their dreams, maybe.
So far, despite a great deal of “news” coverage of the riots and looting, there has been very little hard data. How many people have been killed? Are the emergency rooms full of injured rioters or citizens? How many rioters, arsonists and looters have been arrested? To my knowledge, no one in the news industry has made a serious effort to answer such basic questions.
Now, however, a local television station has done some actual investigation and published the results. This tweet refers to Hennepin County jail records:
Here's what the HCSO jail records show. There are 69 cases from Friday to Saturday that were categorized as "received by jail" as of about 11 am this morning. Of those, here's the state breakdowns:
— Brandon Stahl (@b_stahl) May 30, 2020
Of that sample, 87 percent of those whose addresses were identified were Minnesotans, or at least claimed to be. St. Paul police records are similar:
Of the 18 people arrested from Thursday to Saturday morning, 12 listed Minnesota as their address. Two were from North Dakota, one from Wisconsin, and one from Texas. Addresses for two others weren’t listed.
I don’t doubt that outsiders are participating in the Twin Cities riots. Members of Antifa and Black Lives Matter have reportedly come to town, among others. Maybe the outsiders are better than locals at evading arrest. In any event, however, it seems that local authorities may have to face the unpleasant reality that many of those who are destroying Minneapolis and St. Paul are, in fact, local residents.
PAUL ADDS: Speaking of outside agitators, Joe Lockhart (who served as White House press secretary under President Clinton) is calling on the Minnesota Vikings to sign Colin Kaepernick.