Didn’t age well.
We heard the same thing during the Freddie Gray riots in Baltimore back in 2015. I didn’t believe it then and I didn’t believe it yesterday. And at least in Minneapolis and St. Paul, as it turns out, arrest records are available to show the false nature of those claims. Nearly all of the violent thugs and looters had local addresses. (Fox 9 Minneapolis)
It’s easy to understand why these elected officials want to shift the blame away from their own citizens. First of all, it’s a bad look, particularly when you’re one of the people responsible for keeping your citizens safe and preventing this sort of carnage. It’s also politically risky to go around blaming your own voters for bad behavior. If you’re the leader chosen to keep things under control, admitting the problem is home-grown could cause you to spend some time looking in the mirror.
Of course, there were obviously a few people coming from out of town to cause trouble. Antifa loves to engage in precisely this sort of behavior. But if you stop and think about it, this isn’t exactly a time when people are interested in hopping on a plane or going on long car rides. Even radicals must be a little bit cautious about catching the novel coronavirus, wouldn’t you think?
The fact is that most large cities already have built-in contingents of people who will immediately leap into action when an “opportunity” involving massive protests comes along. They all have local contingents including Black Lives Matter and other activist groups who are ready to call for violence against the police at the drop of a hat. On top of that, there are pretty much no American cities that don’t suffer from some level of gang activity and violence. Those folks aren’t going to pass up an opportunity to loot everything they can lay their hands on and set a few fires to boot, just to muddy the evidence trail. And I seriously doubt most of them give a hoot about George Floyd.
What seems to be different this year is both the scale of the violence and the audacity of the rioters in the face of law enforcement.