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U.S. attorney charges man with conspiracy to commit arson in Third Precinct fire

Another man is facing charges for the fire set at the Mpls. Police Department's 3rd Precinct, which burned during the unrest following George Floyd's death.
Credit: David Peterlinz

MINNEAPOLIS — United States Attorney Erica H. MacDonald announced Wednesday that charges have been brought against 26-year-old defendant Bryce Williams for conspiracy to commit arson at Minneapolis Police's Third Precinct building.

Against a backdrop of unrest, looting and fires on the night of May 28, a complaint against the defendant alleges the defendant could be seen from surveillance footage holding a Molotov cocktail while others were seen lighting the wick, according to an investigation conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). 

The complaint also states investigators with the ATF uncovered incriminating video evidence from the defendant's TikTok account, showing him standing in identifiable clothing in front of the burning Third Precinct building, while another with his face clearly shown depicts him in close proximity to the building. 

The U.S. Attorney's Office says Williams was taken into custody on June 16, the same day he made his initial U.S. District Court appearance in Minneapolis. 

The investigation is the culmination of joint efforts conducted by the ATF, the FBI, the Minneapolis Police Department, the Staples Police Department, and other local and federal agencies. 

The release states the case is being prosecuted by U.S. Assistant Attorney Harry M. Jacobs and David P. Steinkamp.

The defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty. 

Anyone with information pertaining to destruction caused by the recent unrest - either at MPD's Third Precinct or at local area businesses - is asked to please contact a government tip line at 1-888-283-8477, or email ATFTips@atf.gov.  Tips can also be reported anonymously at ReportIt.com.  

Anyone with information on individuals who may have incited or promoted violence during the unrest, can submit their images and videos to Tips.FBI.gov or call in tips at 1-800-225-5324.

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