- Associated Press - Tuesday, January 26, 2021

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Two men have pleaded guilty to federal arson charges in connection with fires that were set inside the Target corporate headquarters during unrest that followed rumors of a police shooting in downtown Minneapolis last August.

The unrest began after a Black man who was a suspect in a homicide fatally shot himself as police were closing in. In the city still reeling from the May 25 death of George Floyd, rumors of a police shooting circulated and demonstrators went downtown to protest.

Twenty-four-year-old Shador Tommie Cortez Jackson of Richfield and 34-year-old Leroy Lemonte Perry Williams of Minneapolis both pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit arson.

Prosecutors say Jackson broke through the building’s glass doors using a construction sign, and then entered the building with Williams and others. Once inside, Jackson helped set a fire in the mailroom, court documents said.

The men, along with other identified individuals, then ran out of the building. Williams later went back inside and tried to light a fire at the building’s entrance, according to the indictment.

Both men are scheduled to be sentenced in May.

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