The Minneapolis Democratic Party chair came under fire Tuesday for praising last year’s torching of the Third Precinct police headquarters as an “act of pure righteousness.”
Devin Hogan, who heads the Minneapolis Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party, extolled the rioters and blamed law enforcement in an Aug. 2 op-ed for the precinct’s destruction at the hands of rioters on May 28, 2020, three days after the death of George Floyd in police custody.
“Like it or not, setting the Third Precinct on fire was a genuine revolutionary moment. An act of pure righteousness to open new worlds of understanding,” Mr. Hogan said in Southside Pride. “The people declared themselves ungovernable and unilaterally took their power back. The largest international human rights movement in modern history had begun. The youth of Minneapolis carried all of this. The cops started it.”
His comments came with national Democrats seeking to distance themselves from the Black Lives Matter call to “defund the police” as Republicans link the movement to spiking crime in major U.S. cities.
“More proof Democrats only care about advancing their radical agenda, not the safety of Americans,” tweeted Rep. Tom Emmer, Minnesota Republican, who chairs the National Republican Congressional Committee.
Mike Berg, NRCC deputy communications director, asked: “Burning police stations is righteous?”
He called on Minnesota Democrats in Congress to respond to Mr. Hogan’s claims.
“Do [Reps.] Dean Phillips and Angie Craig agree that these rioters were justified in lighting a police station on fire? Will they condemn Hogan?” Mr. Berg said in a statement.
Not backing down was Mr. Hogan, who tweeted: “Fetishizing decorum over substance is a hallmark of white supremacy.”
“The truth hurts. Accurately describing reality is not a call to arms,” said Mr. Hogan. “Explaining the conditions of violent repression with the reasons why and how people react to that oppression is not condoning violence.”
Minnesota Republican Party chairwoman Jennifer Carnahan said Mr. Hogan‘s statement is “further demonstration that the Democrats believe destruction is the pathway to change.”
“The MN DFL and its leaders have lost their way with their continued push to defund the police,” said Ms. Carnahan. “It’s time to truly put the betterment of our state and communities first.”
Four men have been charged and sentenced to prison for their roles in stoking the precinct fire: Bryce Michael Williams, 27; Davon De-Andre Turner, 25; Branden Michael Wolfe, 23, and Dylan Shakespeare Robinson, 23.
The perpetrators also were ordered to pay the city $12 million in restitution.
“All four defendants charged in federal court have now been sentenced for their individual roles in the burning and near total destruction of the Minneapolis Police Department’s Third Precinct building,” said Acting U.S. Attorney W. Anders Folk in a June 7 statement. “Mr. Williams and his co-defendants have been held accountable for their dangerous and destructive actions.”