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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Minnesota

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Staples Man Charged In Minneapolis Police Third Precinct Arson

United States Attorney Erica H. MacDonald today announced a federal criminal complaint against BRYCE MICHAEL WILLIAMS, 26, charging him with conspiracy to commit arson at the Minneapolis Police Department’s Third Precinct. WILLIAMS, who was arrested on June, 16, 2020, made his initial appearance earlier today before Magistrate Judge David T. Schultz in U.S. District Court in Minneapolis.

According to the allegations in the complaint, on the night of May 28, 2020, the Minneapolis Police Department’s Third Precinct was overrun and heavily damaged due to vandalism and arson. Investigators with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) identified multiple separate fires had been started in the building. Investigators were able to identify WILLIAMS in surveillance video footage from the Third Precinct. WILLIAMS, wearing a mask, a baseball cap, and a hooded sweatshirt, can be seen in the video standing near the entrance of the Third Precinct holding a Molotov cocktail while other individuals attempt to light the wick.

According to the allegations in the complaint, ATF investigators also reviewed videos that were posted on WILLIAMS’s TikTok account on May 28 and 29, 2020. In one of the videos, WILLIAMS can be seen standing in front of the burning Third Precinct building wearing clothing consistent with the clothing WILLIAMS was wearing in the Third Precinct surveillance video. In another video, WILLIAMS’s face is clearly visible and he appears to be in close proximity to the Third Precinct building.

The ATF and FBI urge the public to report suspected arson, use of explosive devices, or violent, destructive acts associated with the recent unrest. Anyone with information specifically related to the Third Precinct fire or other business fires in the Twin Cities can call 1-888-ATF-TIPS (1-888-283-8477), email ATFTips@atf.gov or submit information anonymously via ReportIt.com. In addition to fires, the FBI is looking for people who may have incited or promoted violence of any kind. Anyone with digital material or tips can call 1-800-CALLFBI (800-225-5324) or submit images or videos at FBI.gov/violence.

This case is the result of an investigation conducted jointly by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), the FBI, the Minneapolis Police Department, the Staples Police Department, the Todd County Sheriff’s Office, the Minnesota State Patrol, the Central Minnesota Violent Offender Task Force, and the Minnesota State Fire Marshal Division.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Harry M. Jacobs and David P. Steinkamp.

The charges contained in the complaint are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

 

Defendant Information:

BRYCE MICHAEL WILLIAMS, 26

Staples, Minn.

Charges:

  • Conspiracy to commit arson, 1 count

 

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United States Attorney’s Office, District of Minnesota: (612) 664-5600

 

Topic(s): 
Violent Crime
Component(s): 
Updated June 30, 2020