Protesters throw objects onto a burning car outside a Target store near the Third Police Precinct on May 28, 2020 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, during a demonstration over the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man, who died after a police officer kneeled on his neck for several minutes. - …

Source: Kyle Olson

Minnesota Department of Public Safety Commissioner John Harrington told reporters on Saturday that his agency is using “contact tracing” to identify the associations of rioters arrested in the state on Friday.

“We have begun analyzing the data of who we’ve arrested, and begun actually doing what you would think as, almost very similar to our COVID. It’s contact tracing,” Harrington said.

“Who are they associated with? What platforms are they advocating for? And we’ve seen things like white supremacist organizers who have posted things on platforms about coming to Minnesota,” he said.

“We’re checking to see if people that we have made arrests on and that we have information, are they connected to those platforms. We’ve seen flyers about protests where folks have talked about they’re ‘going to get their loot on tonight,’” Harrington said.

He said Minnesota authorities are looking into whether the individuals are “part of an organized criminal organization, and if so, what is that organization and how are they organized,” he said.

Harrington said all levels of government are analyzing whether it is “organized crime.”

“Is this an organized cell of terror?” he said.

Gov. Tim Walz said they were talking about it to get “the media” to do additional investigations on the individuals and their connections to organizations.