‘Umbrella Man’ theory based on single warrant written by alleged anti-Trump cop

The idea that a masked racist was ultimately responsible for the riots first gained public attention early last week.

Image credit: Twitter/@javimorillo

The police officer responsible for the theory that a white-supremacist biker started the Minneapolis riots appears to have once described herself as the “rare ‘out’ liberal in the department.”

The idea that a masked racist was ultimately responsible for the riots first gained public attention early last week. The Star Tribune claimed Tuesday that “police say” a man dressed in all black holding an umbrella triggered the citywide wave of violence when he smashed the windows of an AutoZone store.

The Tribune and other outlets are only able to attribute this claim to one search warrant application written by Sgt. Erika Christensen, a Minneapolis Police Department (MPD) arson investigator who appears to have openly anti-conservative beliefs.

Christensen writes in her application that “until the actions of the … ‘Umbrella man,’ the protests had been relatively peaceful. The actions of this person created an atmosphere of hostility and tension.”

She later claims Umbrella Man “is a full‐fledged member of the Hell’s Angels and is a known associate of the Aryan Cowboys.”

The Tribune and other outlets have used Christensen’s warrant request to claim the Minneapolis riots were started by a lone white-supremacist biker bent on triggering racial violence. As of Saturday afternoon, The Star Tribune‘s article on Umbrella Man was its second most-read story.

There is no publicly available evidence, aside from the conclusions drawn by Christensen, to show that “Umbrella Man” is a white-supremacist agitator. Further, he has not been charged with or convicted of any crime related to the Minneapolis riots.

Christensen said she learned the identity of Umbrella Man through a tipster, whom she declined to name in her warrant request because of security concerns.

Her application also contains several grammatical errors. The word Instagram is spelled “Insta Gram” and the phrase kitty-corner appears as “kiddy corner.” Despite this, Hennepin County Judge Luis Bartolomei approved her warrant request.

Anti-Trump letters

An author known by the investigator’s same name, Erika Christensen, has penned numerous left-leaning letters to the editor and an op-ed in The Star Tribune.

Although the author known as Erika Christensen has claimed to be a police officer and clearly appears to be the same individual who invented the Umbrella Man theory, a spokesperson from the MPD said he has “no idea” if the two Christensens are one and the same.

Alpha News asked the spokesperson if he could simply verify with Christensen that she is the author of the letters, but he never responded.

The topic of Christensen’s writings vary, but all of her letters to the editor and her one opinion piece betray her staunchly left-leaning beliefs. In her op-ed, titled “I’m a cop and I’ve met the next mass shooter,” Christensen freely admits her political bias.

“I am a frequent letter-writer to The Star Tribune. Mostly they are about my political leanings (I am the rare ‘out’ liberal in the department),” she writes.

She then identifies herself as a police officer of 27 years and an “arson investigator since 2007.”

In one of her letters she attacks not only President Donald Trump, but his supporters as well.

“I was tired of being numb and no longer outraged or appalled by what Trump says or does. I am not tired anymore. I am outraged,” she begins, before listing her grievances against the president.

“I am outraged when a minority of this country says how great this man is. He is not … There simply is no defense for this man,” her letter concludes.

Another letter from Christensen, written during Trump’s impeachment hearings, declares that impeachment “is not a partisan question,” and that the president should be removed from office. She also discounts reports that the son of former Vice President Joe Biden was involved in an illicit relationship with Ukraine.

“The basic question of what has, or has not, happened in regard to Ukraine is not about the Bidens,” she says.

In a third letter, she accuses the Trump administration of having “a propensity for profound stupidity,” and indicates her faith in the debunked Mueller report.

Meanwhile, some commentators, like film producer and racial justice advocate Tariq Nasheed, maintain that Umbrella Man was actually an undercover cop.

Proponents of this theory first spoke out in late May, blaming St. Paul Police Officer Jacob Pederson for smashing the AutoZone windows. However, surveillance photos place Pederson at a different location while Umbrella Man was vandalizing the AutoZone.


Kyle Hooten

Kyle Hooten is Managing Editor of Alpha News. His coverage of Minneapolis has been featured on television shows like Tucker Carlson Tonight and in print media outlets like the Wall Street Journal.