Law enforcement in Minneapolis on Monday acknowledged deliberately slashing the tires of parked cars in late May, as protests over the police killing of George Floyd threw the city into turmoil.
The admission came a couple days after Mother Jones flagged video footage of authorities slashing several cars’ tires, including those belonging to journalists and others who just happened to park in the wrong spot at the wrong time — in this case, a Kmart parking lot and another location.
“State Patrol troopers strategically deflated tires … in order to stop behaviors such as vehicles driving dangerously and at high speeds in and around protesters and law enforcement,” Bruce Gordon, a spokesperson for Minnesota’s Department of Public Safety, admitted to the Star Tribune.
Troopers also slashed tires of vehicles “that contained items used to cause harm during violent protests,” Gordon said.
“While not a typical tactic, vehicles were being used as dangerous weapons and inhibited our ability to clear areas and keep areas safe where violent protests were occurring,” he added.
Anoka County sheriff’s deputies also followed state orders to cut tires, a department spokesperson acknowledged to the paper. The spokesperson, Andy Knotz, told the Star Tribune that getting a tow truck wasn’t an option due to the crowd.
The Minneapolis Police Department and Hennepin County Sheriff’s office have maintained they were not involved in the tire slashing.
The slashings took place on May 30 and 31, according to Mother Jones and the Star Tribune — just a couple days after a handful of protesters burned down Minneapolis’ 3rd police precinct.
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