A man seen breaking windows in a viral video of Minneapolis protests is suspected to be a known member of a white supremacist group, cops have alleged in a search warrant affidavit. The man in question, Mitchell Carlson, has not been charged with a crime.
The video, filmed on May 27, showed a man dressed in all black methodically smashing windows of an AutoZone in Minneapolis during racial justice protests over the police killing of George Floyd. The man also spray painted “free shit for everyone zone” on the building’s doors. The man appeared to be dressed as an anti-fascist, but was eyed as a possible infiltrator or “outside agitator” when protesters tried to question him over his activities. He became known as “Umbrella Man” on social media alongside debunked theories that he was a police officer attempting to discredit the protests.
Now, in a search warrant affidavit first reported by The Minneapolis Star-Tribune, police say they have received a tip that the man is Mitchell Carlson, “a full‐fledged member of the Hell’s Angels” and “a known associate of the Aryan Cowboys. The Aryan Cowboys are a known prison gang out of Minnesota and Kentucky.”
Mitchell did not immediately return a voicemail from The Daily Beast on Tuesday.
The search for Umbrella Man went months without a lead until investigators received a tip that he was a member of the Hells Angels who “wanted to sow discord and racial unrest by breaking out the windows” of the AutoZone, according to the search warrant affidavit.
Although the search warrant does not charge Mitchell with a crime, it stated that investigators were seeking data from cell phone towers that would provide information as to his whereabouts during the incident.
After Floyd was killed in Minneapolis Police custody in late May, elected officials in Minneapolis and elsewhere accused so-called “outside agitators” of inciting violent chaos. Some of these allegations have fallen flat. Despite initial reports that many people arrested in Minneapolis were from out of state, most were later revealed to be locals, prompting activists to cite the “outside agitator” narrative as a means of discrediting their movement. Nevertheless, some of the claims appeared to have a kernel of truth. Leaked law enforcement documents, reported by journalist Emma Best, reveal that white supremacist gangs—specifically the Hells Angels and Aryan Cowboys—had also discussed posing as anti-fascists in Minneapolis to discredit them during the protests.
Carlson was implicated in another recent incident, according to the affidavit: He was allegedly present when the Aryan Cowboys were accused of harassing a Muslim woman in late June.
Mitchell has a litany of previous arrests, many for traffic issues, but some for violent incidents. In February, he was charged with making terroristic threats and domestic abuse by strangulation. He was convicted and sentenced on a misdemeanor level for the threats, but the abuse charges were dismissed. In a separate case that month, he was convicted of domestic abuse.
A Facebook account that appeared to be his indicated a long sympathy for white supremacist causes, including memes with swastikas and Nazi salutes.
The Minneapolis Police Department did not immediately respond to requests for comment.