St. Paul Man Sentenced to 100 Months in Prison for Arson and Riot During August 2020 Riots in Downtown Minneapolis
MINNEAPOLIS – A St. Paul man was sentenced to 100 months in prison followed by two years of supervised release for burning, looting, and damaging stores and businesses in downtown Minneapolis on August 26, 2020. Acting U.S. Attorney Charles J. Kovats made the announcement after U.S. District Judge Patrick J. Schiltz sentenced the defendant.
According to the evidence presented at trial, on the evening of August 26, 2020, Victor Devon Edwards, 32, drove to downtown Minneapolis following a city-wide curfew to join a large crowd that had gathered following false rumors regarding police involvement in the death of a man on Nicollet Mall earlier that evening. Over the course of approximately three hours, Edwards engaged in acts of riot, arson, and other property damage and destruction in downtown Minneapolis. Edwards was captured on video surveillance participating in the rioting and looting at Saks Off Fifth and entering other closed stores and businesses that evening, including Caribou Coffee, Target Headquarters, and Brit’s Pub on Nicollet Mall. Edwards was captured on video surveillance helping to break into the Target Headquarters building and adding fuel to a fire set inside the building, which ultimately caused almost a million dollars in damages to Target. Edwards was then captured on video surveillance entering the nearby Brit’s Pub, which, shortly after he went in, became engulfed in flames.
During and after his criminal activity downtown that evening, Edwards bragged about his participation in the rioting and looting. Edwards also took orders from friends for items to loot. The next morning, Edwards took a video of himself flashing a large amount of cash and saying, “On the looting side. . .” He also admitted that he got “MK purses and money” in text messages with his friends.
On August 12, 2021, Edwards was convicted by a federal jury of one count of riot and one count of arson.
This case is the result of an investigation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), the FBI, the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office, the Minneapolis Fire Department, and the Minneapolis, Bloomington, and Richfield Police Departments.
This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Nathan H. Nelson and Chelsea A. Walcker.