EXCLUSIVE: Mpls. security expert says leftist groups use Taliban-like tactics to intimidate opponents

As chaos hit Uptown, private security groups were often the last line of defense for businesses in the once-bustling neighborhood. In response, they were doxed and defamed by left-wing anarchist groups.

Nathan Seabrook is a former police officer, combat veteran, and current security company director who owns Conflict Resolution Group. (Alpha News)

It doesn’t take long to spot signs of trouble in Uptown, from the empty office and retail space to the graffiti and growing homeless population.

“Uptown is like a ghost town now,” one woman out walking with her friends told Alpha News.

“There’s no businesses open around here as much. A lot of places have closed. A lot of homeless people,” another added.

Once bustling blocks of entertainment and retail space can seem empty and quiet today.

Commercial real estate firm Colliers reports a 29.3% current vacancy rate among office space in Uptown. Retail is 13.1% vacant. In comparison, in 2019, pre-pandemic and riots, 16.8% of office space was empty along with 4.5% of retail space.

But this isn’t a story about what you see, it’s what you don’t, in the ongoing fight to protect what’s left.

‘The city is falling apart’

Nathan Seabrook is a former police officer, combat veteran, and current security company director who owns Conflict Resolution Group.

Nathan Seabrook (Alpha News)

He didn’t hold back when asked for his take.

“In every functional society you need a police department, you need a fire department, you need the sheriff, you need the police. You need social services. They all work together as a team to fix the problems. Unfortunately, with everything that’s happened the last couple of years, the city is falling apart,” Seabrook said.

Seabrook started Conflict Resolution Group as a way to help veterans of both law enforcement and the military use their experiences to build a better and stronger security model. The company was born from the George Floyd riots when looting hit Uptown.

A year later, chaos continued when Winston Smith fired at law enforcement and was killed by a U.S. Marshals task force.

Conflict Resolution Group became a frequent target on social media as left-wing activists used character assassination as a scare tactic.

“I worked overseas for many years, and I saw firsthand how social media was used by different groups to create narratives. When I came back to the United States during the George Floyd time and the riots, I saw a lot of the same thing that the Taliban and Boko Haram used in order to spread a narrative to go after certain people. I didn’t ever expect to see that here,” Seabrook commented.

“Me personally, I was doxed. They gave out my home address. Then of course the narrative was created that we were KKK, we were racist, that we were Proud Boys. Then that changed when they found out the owner of the company was African American. Then it went to mercenaries and paramilitary. That is absolutely false. Our employees are not mercenaries. Our clients aren’t a foreign government,” Seabrook added.

A sign in Uptown calls private security groups “paramilitary contractors.” (Photo provided to Alpha News)

“They don’t care if they lie, they don’t care if they defame you. They just put out there what their narrative is,” he said.

Through it all, the team has remained focused on doing things differently.

“We use technology to help us also come up with creative solutions and ideas for dealing with problems, so we didn’t have to use force,” Seabrook explained.

They sometimes play music to drown out business-disrupting protests or place doe urine where drug dealers gather.

“By putting that smell down, it drove them out of there. They didn’t know what the smell was. They couldn’t stand it, so they moved down two blocks away,” Seabrook explained.

‘Nobody is coming to save you’ 

KP has worked security in Uptown for 13 years.

“It feels like almost a different industry than it was years ago,” she said. “Before the crime in Uptown, it was drunk college kids getting into fights, that’s what we dealt with all the time. People were intoxicated, getting into fights, that was it. We weren’t really dealing with weapons, we weren’t dealing with any of that. We had a great police response. You’d call them, they’d show up, they’d come right away.”

Conflict Resolution Group team members talk with Alpha News reporter Liz Collin. (Alpha News)

“They had cops at every corner in Uptown working the bars so there was always someone right there to help you out. After George Floyd is when it kind of started to change in that area. The whole Uptown area was looted for three days. The cops were short-handed so they weren’t coming, the fire department wasn’t coming,” she added.

As the number of police officers has dwindled, in some cases, private security firms like Seabrook’s take their own reports and turn them over to MPD.

“You are really left on your own. You know not to call the police,” KP said.

Pete Dahl is deputy director of operations for Conflict Resolution Group.

“When you drive away people who are paying the bills, paying the taxes and you’re running your cops off, one way or the other it becomes a lawless, unsafe place and it’s unfortunate,” he explained.

“We’re supposed to support law enforcement, we’re not trying to replace law enforcement. We used to just hold their ground until they got there. Now, nobody is coming to save you,” Dahl added.

There is concern a third summer of chaos is ahead as more businesses have closed their doors.

“My solution is you refund the police. You hire cops that you lost back. You recruit like crazy, you protect them administratively and properly through leadership to allow the people to get back out there and arrest criminals, and you put the right people in the prosecutor’s office and get [criminals] off the streets because right now it’s a free for all,” Dahl said.

“We want to fix the problem. We’re not trying to get a 20-year contract. And hopefully we don’t have to come back and help you in the future,” Seabrook said.


Liz Collin

Liz Collin has been a truth-teller for 20 years as a multi-Emmy-Award-winning reporter and anchor. Liz is a Worthington, Minnesota native who lives in the suburbs with her husband, son and loyal lab.