A judge is allowing Minneapolis police to search the phone records of a man they suspect of inciting a string of fires and looting that engulfed the city in the days after the killing of George Floyd, the Wall Street Journal reports. The man—known as “Umbrella Man” from viral videos that show him dressed in black and holding a black umbrella—is a “known associate of the Aryan Cowboys,” a white-supremacist prison gang, and a “full-fledged member” of the biker club Hells Angels. He took a four-pound sledgehammer to an Auto Zone store near the site of the killing and spray painted “free shit for everyone zone” on the doors, said police arson investigator Erika Christensen. “Within a short time after the looting started, the Auto Zone was set on fire. This was the first fire that set off a string of fires and looting throughout the precinct and the rest of the City,” Christensen said.
The suspect, Mitchell Wesley Carlson, hasn’t been charged. A tipster told police Carlson’s motives were “to sow discord and racial unrest.” Police say Carlson was photographed in Stillwater, Mn., where a Muslim woman said she was intimidated by a group of motorcycle club members wearing Aryan Cowboy leather vests. The Aryan Cowboys is a white-supremacist group in Minnesota. Federal and state officials have warned that members of extremist groups are behind some of the violence and looting that has taken place since Floyd’s killing.