white male arrested in the burning of Precinct 3

St. Paul man arrested for burning down of Minneapolis police precinct’, kimt.com, June 8, 2020, (with a five image photo gallery including Wolfe’s photo and this one):

(Authorities say Wolfe identified himself as the shirtless figure with his arms raised)

“ST. PAUL, Minn. – A federal charge has been filed against a St. Paul man for the burning down of the Third Police Precinct in Minneapolis.

United States Attorney Erica H. MacDonald says Branden Michael Wolfe, 23, is accused of aiding and abetting arson. He is scheduled to make his initial appears in U.S. District Court Tuesday.

The Third Precinct was overrun during protests on May 28 and heavily damaged due to vandalism and arson, with investigators identifying multiple fires being started in the building.

On June 3, St. Paul police officers were called to a home improvement store in St. Paul about an individual, later identified as Wolfe, wearing body armor and a law enforcement duty belt and carrying a baton was trying to get into the store. Store employees said WOLFE had been working as a security guard at the store but was fired earlier that day over social media posts about stealing items from the Third Precinct.”

‘Man Arrested for Arson at Minneapolis Precinct During George Floyd Protests;  23-year-old Branden Michael Wolfe allegedly stole numerous items — including body armor and riot helmet — from Third Precinct’, rollingstone.com, June 9, 2020

Mandatory Credit: Photo by CHINE NOUVELLE/SIPA/Shutterstock .

What, if anything, do you see in that photo?

“When Wolfe was arrested, he was reportedly “wearing multiple items stolen from the Third Precinct, including body armor, a police-issue duty belt with handcuffs, an earphone piece, baton and knife. Wolfe’s name was handwritten in duct tape on the back of the body armor.” Additionally, at Wolfe’s apartment, authorities found “a riot helmet, 9mm pistol magazine, police radio and police issue overdose kit.”

Wolfe was previously convicted of a petty misdemeanor trespassing charge and interfering with a 911 call. The 911 call case also initially included charges of domestic assault, property damage, trespassing and disorderly conduct, although those were all dismissed. Wolfe is still on probation for the 911 call until September 2021.

The Star Tribune briefly spoke with Wolfe’s father, Robert Wolfe, who lives in Macon, Georgia. The elder Wolfe said his son was mostly raised by his mother, and that he knew little about his son’s past legal troubles or political leanings. “He has grandiose ideas, a lot of them… and zero common sense,” Robert said. “I’m still proud of him, whether he burned down the police station or not. He didn’t hurt nobody, did he?”

Branden Wolfe Charged in Minneapolis Police Precinct Arson’, June 9, 2020, heavy.com

“Wolfe’s Facebook profile says he lives in Saint Paul, Minnesota, and is originally from Florida. A quote beneath his profile picture reads, “Silence becomes violence, when we refuse guidance to those who seek it.”

[a twist on MLK, Jr. or Malcolm X?]

“The profile indicates Wolfe has worked as a private security guard at O’Brien and Associates and at Medusa Nightclub. The Star Tribune reported Wolfe was a former security guard at Menards, a home improvement store in Minnesota. Police arrested Wolfe on June 3 after receiving a complaint that he was trying to get into Menards wearing body armor and law enforcement equipment. He had been fired from the store earlier in the day after talking about his social media posts about stealing from the 3rd Precinct, according to the Star Tribune. The posts in question appear to have been removed from Wolfe’s Facebook page.

Wolfe posted to social media at numerous points throughout that week, claiming to be peacefully protesting, Fox 9’s Lyden noted.”

A few folks at the link above asked if he might be ‘The Umbrella Man’.

Heavy then features two of Wolfe’s Facebook posts, the second one noting that Orange Fanta had been invented in Nazi Germany in 1940, the contest to name it, and its name meaning in English: “Let your imagination run wild!”.  He’d finished with: ‘Hope you’ve learned something from this.  Good night!”

Wolfe appeared in court yesterday by video link before Magistrate Judge Hildy Bowbeer of the US Magistrate’s office n St. Paul.  He’ll be appointed an attorney from the Office of the Federal Defender and will be held in custody pending a further hearing which is scheduled to take place remotely on Thursday, according to the Daily Mail.

My sense, for what it’s worth, is that Wolfe wasn’t there to protest against George Floyd’s assassination by the 3rd Precinct cops, but an opportunistic, and at least slightly-deranged and violent frustrated wanna-be Cop.  I’m sure we’ll be hearing more about his profile in the future.  Then again, maybe he was a cop.

Note the photo at the top: are those his accomplices on either side of him? 

(cross-posted at caucus99percent.com)

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