A 26-year-old man from Central Minnesota pleaded guilty on Thursday, November 19, to the accusation of breaching a fence that enclosed the Third Precinct Police Headquarters in the city of Minneapolis and helped light the building on fire during the civil unrest that followed the police killing of George Floyd this summer.
Bryce Michael Williams of Staples in Central Minnesota was indicted by a federal grand jury for the conspiracy to commit arson, StarTribune reported.
Based on the indictment on May 28, Williams was one among hundreds of individuals gathered around the said precinct in south Minneapolis.
While the crowd was chanting to burn down the place, several people from the group tore down the fence, which is meant to keep the building safer.
According to the charges, alongside other individuals, Williams trampled over the fence and went toward the building.
It is also stated that the 26-year-old also helped to light a Molotov cocktail that was brought by another man into the building and managed to set a fire using it, New York Post reported.
The charges also mentioned that Williams later threw a box on fire outside the precinct's entry doors.
The said incident, the burning of the Third Precinct, had become one of the most prominent visual symbols of the riots and protests which has erupted in response to the city's police officer pinning Floyd, who is an unarmed Black man, to the ground while Floyd was begging for his life.
The four officers who have been charged related to the death of Floyd all worked out of the Third Precinct.
Having no precedent in modern American history, the burning of a police precinct and the siege led the state's governor to request the Minnesota National Guard to be present in the following nights to quell the unrest.
The police building was not the only one damaged as it was only one of the 150 properties in the Twin Cities that was damaged and even burned to the ground during the aftermath of Floyd's death.
Several people with different motivations have been charged because of the fire incident set off at the precinct. Aside from Williams, three others were charged for being alleged co-conspirators, as they were identified as the ones who crossed the fence and assisted in setting a fire in the area at that time, based on the indictment.
The three others were identified as Davon De-Andre Turner of St. Paul, Dylan Robinson of Brainerd, and Brandon Michael Wolfe, also of St. Paul.
As of the moment, Williams is the only one who pleaded guilty, Daily Mail reported.
According to the charges, Turner helped Williams in lighting the Molotov cocktail and carried it into the precinct.
While Robinson, based on the indictment, also threw an incendiary device into the building, and Wolfe rolled a barrel directly into the flames, with the intention of accelerating the ongoing fire.