Not long after protesters harassed Fox News journalist Leland Vittert, one of the network’s investigative reporters, Bill Melugin, accused a “younger, anarchist faction” of using the Black Lives Matter (BLM) protests of George Floyd’s death to sow chaos.
“Crazy to go through my feed and see how many other journalists were attacked or harassed last night across the country,” Melugin tweeted. “Like I said yesterday, there is a younger, anarchist faction to these protests and they’re hijacking BLMs message to use as cover to start chaos without blame.”
Melugin pointed to his experience dealing with “Antifa cowards” throughout his career and claimed they were “showing up in droves” in Los Angeles last night.
“You don’t go to a protest in all black with a black mask, backpack, skateboards with no wheels if you’re only looking to demonstrate.”
As reported by USA Today, Minnesota officials claimed that the majority-white protesters armed with helmets, gas masks, shields, and knee pads are anarchists from outside the state who are hijacking the protests for their own purposes. According to USA Today reporters, such groups have been spotted in multiple locations, and they sometimes threaten journalists who photograph their destruction.
Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz claimed that approximately 80 percent of the people taking part in the overnight looting are from outside of the state and accused them of being white supremacists.
“There are detractors,” he said. “There are white supremacists. There are anarchists.”
Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey also suggested that the destruction in his city is linked to outside actors.
“The people that are doing this are not Minneapolis residents,” he said.
In response to reports of out-of-state protesters inciting violence, Donald Trump threatened military action.
A police officer was separated from his team during the protests. He was about to be attacked by a mob until a group of the protesters surrounded him and protected him.
There are good protesters out there. Don’t let their message be overshadowed by the looters and rioters! pic.twitter.com/g6lzWSX5Jf
— JT Lewis (@thejtlewis) May 30, 2020
According to Adam Leggat, a former British Army counter-terrorism officer who is now a security consultant, intelligence reports from his colleagues indicate that the most destructive protesters are far-left anarchists. As of now, Leggat claims that far-right groups have yet to make appearances at the protests. Nevertheless, he warned that the continuation of rioting would likely lead to more groups joining. If right-wing groups end up showing up to the riots, Leggat claims things would get “far more complicated.”
Leggat also said that looting is typically committed by locals, which appears to be supported by a Fox News report. According to the report, Hennepin County Jail records show that the majority of the 45 people arrested in connection to Minneapolis rioting, stolen property, robbery, burglary, or unlawful assembly on May 29 and May 30 had Minnesota addresses.