On Saturday, top Minnesota officials came out in unison with a clear message: The people who took part in vandalism and other violent actions over the past few days in the state did not live there. At a news conference, Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz said officials estimated around 80 percent of the people involved in violence were from out of state. Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey also expressed a similar sentiment: “I want to be very, very clear: The people that are doing this are not Minneapolis residents.” St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter went even further and said all those who were arrested in the city he leads were from out of state. Carter later walked back that statement saying that he had received inaccurate information. “This morning I shared with you arrest data received in my morning police briefing which I later learned to be inaccurate,” Carter said.
The officials were questioned about their claims after journalists went to look at jail records and found that the overwhelming majority of people arrested in connection to the unrest in Minneapolis had Minnesota addresses. NBC affiliate KARE 11 found that of 36 cases, 86 percent had Minnesota addresses. Fox 9, meanwhile, has a slightly different number, but it tells the same story: Of the 45 people arrested, 38 had Minnesota addresses, or 84 percent. Authorities cautioned though that the records don’t always tell the full story because people often give fake addresses.
Regardless of what the jail records say, some on the ground insist that people from outside of the state are joining in the protests. The Star Tribune notes that while Minnesotans have made up most of the arrests, “people from all corners of the country representing a patchwork of ideologies—some extreme—have increasingly turned up as the protests have grown in size and level of violence.”