Federal authorities were worried about white supremacist violence during the Derik Chauvin trial even though they had no “credible” evidence of a terrorist threat. Meanwhile BLM-adjacent protesters plainly stated that they would resort to violence should the trial not go their way.
A new report from the Star Tribune states that “before [the] Derek Chauvin trial, authorities warned of threat of cyberattacks, white supremacist violence.” Chauvin is the Minneapolis police officer who was convicted over the summer of murdering George Floyd — a killing that triggered months of BLM protests that frequently devolved into violent riots and arson attacks in Minneapolis and other major cities.
During Chauvin’s trial, federal officials warned local law enforcement that “White Supremacist Extremists (WSEs) could emerge and exploit otherwise peaceful protests to engage in violence against law enforcement and others involved in First Amendment-protected activity,” the Tribune reports.
The outlet also cites a professor who thinks that white nationalism was “born in the USA” and now presents a “global terror threat” who claims that white supremacists were involved in accelerating last year’s violence. White supremacists “believe eventually everything’s going to collapse anyway, and so they believe they can speed it up by creating chaos,” Professor Paul Becker of the University of Dayton told the Tribune.
However, the Department of Homeland Security was not able to identify any “specific, credible reporting indicating domestic terrorists” planned to stage attacks during or after the Chauvin trial.
A Minnesota official was, however, able to identify actual attacks launched against emergency communications systems during the days of rioting after Floyd’s death launched by “unidentified malicious actors.” Although the motives of these unidentified actors cannot be known, their attacks occurred during widespread anti-police, BLM protests.
As federal officials were warning Minnesota law enforcement about the threat posed by largely invisible white nationalists, Minneapolis residents were very aware of the high profile threat posed by BLM-aligned protesters.
“If they [the jury] don’t find him [Chauvin] guilty, they [rioters] gonna tear this town up. We gonna tear this town up,” one man told a Daily Caller reporter as the trial was ongoing.
“If those cops get off, not only are they [rioters] gonna burn downtown down they’re gonna burn all of downtown down,” another man predicted. “Businesses are going to burn again, a lot are going to get broken it to,” another man echoed, issuing a prediction for what would happen if the rioters didn’t get their way.
“It’ll look like it did before,” yet another person foretold, while another apparently threatened to attack a police station: “first precinct will be the first one,” he is heard saying.
These are only the statements found in one report, but leaders echoed their sentiment. “Let the whole damn city burn if that’s what it takes . . . burn, baby, burn,” said Rev. Runney Patterson — who ironically also led the “21 Days of Peace” campaign.
Rep. Maxine Waters even chimed in alongside other elected officials. Waters urged the masses to “get more active” if Chauvin was acquitted. “Get more confrontational,” she said, earning admonishment from the judge presiding over the trial.
Such inflammatory comments from elected officials, Judge Peter Cahill said, were presented “in a manner that is disrespectful to the rule of law and to the judicial branch.”
However based on the Star Tribune’s reporting and previous reports from other outlets, it doesn’t seem that federal officials shared the concerns of Minneapolis residents who feared violence from BLM-aligned actors. Rather, most mainstream outlets have reported that the original Floyd riots were incited by a white supremacist while the nation’s top law enforcement officials maintain that white extremists are the top terror threat in America.