Bryce Michael Williams, 27 is what you could call “an influencer”, and in May the Justice system recognized him as such. Judge Patrick Schiltz said he was a leader “not a follower” in the events of May 28, 2020, that led to the burning of Minneapolis’ Third Precinct Police Station by Black Lives Matter rioters. The Judge gave a reduced sentence, lower than the federal guidelines for his crimes but he refused any possibility of probation.
“Please have mercy on me while you sentence me,” Williams asked the judge.
Mr. Williams was ordered by Judge Schiltz to serve two years and three months in federal prison and ordered to pay $12 million in restitution for the damage. He plead guilty, but justice wasn’t blind to the fact that this was a social media influencer leading thousands.
According to The Star Tribune,
“Williams, of Staples, was one of more than a thousand people who gathered outside the precinct on May 28, 2020. As the crowd chanted “burn it down,” dozens tore down the fence around police headquarters. Williams entered the building and lit a Molotov cocktail, which Davon De-Andre Turner used to ignite a fire. Williams then threw a box on top of a fire near the entrance of the precinct.”
While committing his crimes Mr. Williams was posting videos of himself and his fellow rioters to his 150,000 TikTok followers. His three fellow defendants also plead guilty to conspiracy to commit arson. Turner was sentenced to three years, Robinson will serve 4 years and Wolfe will serve three years, five months, the three will also pay $12 Million in restitution. These men are getting off easy. Their punishment doesn’t even completely do justice to their crimes.
Details From Dept. of Justice Statement on Mr. Wolfe
In a Department of Justice statement following the conviction of Williams, Turner, Robinson, and Wolfe the US Attorney of Minnesota detailed the events, highlighting Wolfe’s actions, but providing a clearer picture of the conspiracy overall. They wrote,
“Branden Michael Wolfe, 23, went to the Third Precinct where a crowd of hundreds had gathered. At one point, the crowd began shouting, “Burn it down, burn it down.” Soon after, a fence that was designed to keep trespassers out of the Third Precinct was torn down. Wolfe pushed a barrel into a fire located in the entrance of the Third Precinct headquarters, which had been set by other unidentified co-conspirators, with the intent to accelerate the existing fire.”
“Wolfe also entered the Third Precinct building and stole several items, including a police vest, duty belt, handcuffs, earpiece, baton, knife, riot helmet, pistol magazine, police radio, police overdose kit, uniform nameplates, and ammunition. Wolfe was arrested on June 3, 2020, wearing the police vest, the duty belt, and carrying the tactical baton.”
Seriously, you can’t make that up.
“Mr. Wolfe furthered the destruction that took place in Minneapolis last summer by literally adding fuel to the fire. In addition to the arson, Mr. Wolfe stole body armor, weapons, and ammunition belonging to the Minneapolis Police Department,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Anders Folk. “This sentence underscores the seriousness of Mr. Wolfe’s actions and holds him to account.”
Mr. Robinson did no better according to a Justice Department official, “Mr Robinson chose to depart from lawful protest and instead engaged in violence and destruction,” they said in a statement. The arson “put lives at risk and contributed to widespread lawlessness in Minneapolis”.
The Left Focuses on The $12 Million Fine…Boo Hoo
Multiple reports from the mainstream media rather than focusing on the crimes committed by the arsonists (and in Mr. Wolfe’s case: thieves) chose to focus on the $12 Million fine levied against the three and bemoaned the utter impossibility of their ever being able to pay it. The BBC wrote, “None of the defendants have an ability to pay a significant sum,” Mr. Mauzy, the lawyer representing all four men said.
According to a spokesperson for the prosecutor’s office: “restitution could be pursued against Robinson (as well as the other defendants) for his term of incarceration plus 20 years after his release.”
Twincities.com reported that Michael Paul, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Minneapolis field office said, “Today’s sentencing sends a clear message: When you are intent on conducting a violent act that breaks federal law, the FBI and our law enforcement partners will move with speed to hold you accountable,”
For the four men who directly attacked the Minneapolis police and burned their precinct to the ground, yeah, a few years in jail and 20 years of paying restitution seems minimally appropriate. They should be deeply grateful that no one was killed. If someone were, these men would be looking deservedly at life in prison. These men should thank the court with tears in their eyes for its’ leniency. Justice has been served.