News and Commentary

Saint Paul Mayor Walks Back Claim That Everyone Arrested Was From Out Of State

   DailyWire.com
ST. PAUL, MINNESOTA - MAY 28: Protesters throw objects at police on May 28, 2020 in St. Paul, Minnesota. Today marks the third day of ongoing protests after the police killing of George Floyd. Four Minneapolis police officers have been fired after a video taken by a bystander was posted on social media showing Floyd's neck being pinned to the ground by an officer as he repeatedly said, "I can’t breathe." Floyd was later pronounced dead while in police custody after being transported to Hennepin County Medical Center.
Scott Olson/Getty Images

Saint Paul Mayor Melvin Carter has walked back remarks he made Saturday morning in a press conference, during which he boldly claimed “every single person we arrested last night, I’m told, was from out of state.”

According to Star Tribune reporter Torey Van Oot, the mayor acknowledged Saturday evening that he shared incorrect information with the public earlier in the day: “I take full responsibility for that.”

At the time of the original remarks, Governor Tim Walz (D-MN) made a similar assessment, claiming that the best estimates say about 80% of the people arrested for rioting were from out-of-state. After Carter walked back the remarks, Walz was reportedly pressed on the source for his claim, and gave the following response: “I get a lot of reports from what we’re getting on the streets. Some of this is human intel that comes to us, so we’ll see tonight.”

KARE 11 Investigates, a team of investigative journalists in the Twin Cities region, was the first to cast doubt on the St. Paul mayor’s claim, reporting that a “review of all the arrests made by Minneapolis-based police agencies for rioting, unlawful assembly and burglary-related crimes from Friday to Saturday tells a different story.”

As of 11am CST on Saturday, a sample of data from the Hennepin County Jail’s shows that 86% of those arrested provided a Minnesota address to police. Later in the day, St. Paul released arrest information showing that two-thirds of people arrested since Thursday gave police in-state addresses.

However, the news organization cautions that police have expressed concern about rioters providing false information, and that the data analyzed was based on a “small sample.” A spokesperson for the St. Paul police department has also cautioned that arrest records are not necessarily representative of all people at a riot. 

“The number of arrests we’ve made is a very, very small percent of the people who are out there causing problems,” Steve Linders, a St. Paul police spokesman, told the Pioneer Press on Saturday. “We’ve been focused on protecting people and firefighters so they can protect property. I don’t think you can look at 18 people and say it reflects the total number of people out there causing problems.”

During a press conference on Saturday evening, Attorney General William Barr warned that “it is a federal crime to cross state lines or to use interstate facilities to incite or participate in violent rioting.” President Donald Trump also expressed willingness Saturday to send military assistance to Minneapolis if asked, reports NBC News.

As The Daily Wire previously reported, Minnesota Public Safety Commissioner John Harrington explained the deteriorating state of the George Floyd demonstrations over the last several days, noting that the response warranted an assembly of “the largest civil policing authority in the history of Minnesota.”

The safety commissioner also emphasized that the transition from protests to riots has occurred over the last several days, noting that initial demonstrators were peaceful, but that the new scene has been filled with rioters who don’t show “any empathy or any heart” for the community.

“That little group that started out embedding themselves into George Floyd’s memorial service is no longer the little group,” Harrington told reporters later in the press conference. “It is in fact the group that is throwing projectiles, throwing batteries, firing into crowds, and setting fires and attacking firefighters, EMS, law enforcement, sheriff’s department and national guardsman as they seek to provide safety in our communities.”

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