- The Washington Times - Monday, June 8, 2020

Federal prosecutors Monday filed the first criminal charges for the torching of a Minneapolis police precinct last week as protests raged through the city over the death of George Floyd.

Branden Michael Wolfe, 23, is charged with aiding and abetting arson. He is scheduled to appear before a federal judge in Minneapolis on Tuesday afternoon.

In response to the death of Mr. Floyd, a black man who died while in the custody of four police officers, rioters set the Minneapolis Police Department’s Third Precinct ablaze.

Mr. Wolfe became a suspect in the arson after he showed up at a local home improvement store wearing body armor, a law enforcement duty belt and a baton, according to the criminal complaint.

The store’s employees recognized Mr. Wolfe because he has been employed there as a security guard, prosecutors said.

Mr. Wolfe was fired from that job earlier after referring to social media posts about stealing items from the Third Precinct, court documents revealed.

Police recovered additional items they say were stolen from the precinct, including a riot helmet, a 9mm pistol magazine, an overdose kit and a police radio.

Mr. Wolfe admitted to police he was inside the Third Precinct the night of the fire and removed items from the building, according to the criminal complaint.

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