Minnesota officials have identified white nationalist groups operating on the ground amid the protests in Minneapolis and St. Paul over the death of George Floyd in police custody, the state’s Department of Corrections said late Sunday.
Commissioner Paul Schnell told reporters at a press conference that recruiting materials in the form of posters had been located by officials in the Twin Cities, adding that his office is investigating as-yet unsubstantiated claims that Antifa-aligned groups were active in the cities as well, according to local news affiliate KTTC.
“They’re agitators,” Schnell said of the groups, according to CNN. A request for further comment from the Department of Corrections was not immediately returned.
Minnesota Gov. Tim WalzTimothy (Tim) James WalzOmar says some protestors ‘felt terrorized by the presence of tanks,’ National Guard Trump says National Guard should have been used in Minneapolis two days ago: ‘No games’ Military units placed on four-hour recall status to assist Minnesota authorities with protests MORE (D) pointed to the alleged presence of the groups as a reason for his decision to extend an 8 p.m. curfew in the two cities, writing in a tweet Sunday evening: “We have reason to believe that bad actors continue to infiltrate the rightful protests of George Floyd’s murder, which is why we are extending the curfew by one day.”
We have reason to believe that bad actors continue to infiltrate the rightful protests of George Floyd’s murder, which is why we are extending the curfew by one day.
— Governor Tim Walz (@GovTimWalz) May 31, 2020
Dozens of protesters were arrested in downtown Minneapolis Sunday evening due to curfew violations, while demonstrations continued in cities across the country as well.
Video of Floyd’s death posted online by a bystander shows a now-fired officer, Derek Chauvin, placing his knee on Floyd’s neck for several minutes while Floyd, who is black, was handcuffed and saying he could not breathe.
Chauvin was fired, along with three other officers, and has since been charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.