Washington Examiner reports the FBI said it is scouring photos and videos from the Minneapolis protests in an effort to apprehend those who turned the demonstrations violent.
The Bureau said in a Thursday news release that special agents are reviewing video received from the public “frame by frame to reveal clues that may help identify those involved in rioting and violence that occurred the week of May 26.”
Protests erupted in Minneapolis and across the country after video surfaced, showing a white police officer, Derek Chauvin, pinning George Floyd to the ground. Floyd, a 46-year-old black man, had been accused of using a fake $20 bill. Chauvin can be seen in the footage digging his knee into Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes while he begged for his life. Floyd was later pronounced dead, and Chauvin was charged with second-degree murder.
“The FBI respects the rights of people to peacefully exercise their First Amendment rights and the FBI’s mission to protect the American people and uphold the Constitution is dual and simultaneous, not contradictory,” the FBI said. “Accordingly, the Bureau is committed to apprehending violent instigators who exploit legitimate peaceful protests and engage in violations of federal law.”
FBI Minneapolis Special Agent in Charge Rainer Drolshagen said, “The FBI has a long memory and a broad reach.”
“There are people out there who believe they are anonymous and may have gotten away with their crimes, but they are mistaken. We will cover every credible lead and follow their paths toward justice,” he added.
Protests following Floyd’s death started peacefully but devolved into riots in some cases, with buildings burned and businesses destroyed. The FBI said it is working with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives and local law enforcement to apprehend those who set the buildings on fire.
“In addition to the violence and fire investigations, FBI Minneapolis is looking into allegations of possible civil rights violations stemming from the unrest and continues its civil rights investigation into the four former Minneapolis Police Department officers who engaged with George Floyd on May 25,” the Bureau said.