It’s always difficult to keep track of anything during a protest, especially one that turns violent, but it looks like both individual police officers and store owners are destroying property and trying to pin it on the protesters. Apparently, a local journalist was also caught making fake gunshot sounds into his microphone. Once again, I’ve never even been to Minneapolis so who knows, but here’s a Twitter thread trying to make sense of it all.
My guess is that there are most likely Republican operatives in the crowd in addition to the police. Images of violent chaos in the big cities will almost certainly peel off some of Biden’s upper-middle-class professional supporters and either keep them home or push them into voting Republican. But what really strikes me is how all of this is unfolding in familiar ways, in spite of the coronavirus. I suppose the requirements to wear masks in public is a double edged sword. It makes it more difficult for the police to identify and arrest leaders, but it also makes it easier for agents provocateurs to stir up trouble in order to justify a crackdown.