Mitchell Wesley Carlson was caught on video breaking glass at an Auto Zone store on East Lake Street in Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States on May 27, 2020 amid one of the Black Lives Matter protests following George Floyd‘s death. He was known as the Umbrella Man.
Using white spray paint, Carlson wrote the words “free s–t for everyone zone” on double red doors on the front of the AutoZone store. He used a sledgehammer to break all of the store’s front windows.
Soon after, looting started. A little later, the store was set on fire.
While carrying a black umbrella, Carlson was wearing a black hood, a black jacket, black pants, black shoes, black gloves and a black gas mask. His goal was to “sow discord and racial unrest by breaking out the windows and writing what he did on the double red doors,” a tipster told Arson investigator Erika Christensen.
When peaceful protesters confronted Carlson and questioned what he was doing, he did not identify himself. He was seen being confronted and followed by an African American man named Elijah “EJ” Easley.
“I think he is the only one who said something bad to me, 99.9 percent or 100 percent,” said WCCO photojournalist Dymanh Chhoun, who claimed to have encountered Carlson during the protest. “No one said anything to me except for him. He was the only one.”
Carlson has a record of criminal convictions for brawling, assault, terroristic threats and domestic abuse. Here are 13 things about him:
- He was born on April 25, 1988.
- His father Douglas Wesley Carlson is the son of Earle Wesley Carlson and Betty Lou Kamstra.
- His mother is Dawn Lee Wilson.
- He is a native of Minnesota.
- His sister Vanessa Carlson enrolled in the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks, North Dakota, USA in 2018.
- He has cousins named Arnold Hokanson and Stephanie Wilson.
- He is a member of the biker gang Hell’s Angels.
- He is an associate of the Aryan Cowboys Brotherhood, a group based in Minnesota and Kentucky, USA listed by the Anti-Defamation League as a white supremacist prison and street gang.
- He is a fan of Pantera, a heavy metal band from Arlington, Texas, USA.
- In 2006, he graduated from Champlin Park Senior High School in Champlin, Minnesota.
- On May 16, 2016, he was charged with second degree assault involving a dangerous weapon and a fifth degree assault by inflicting or attempting bodily harm.
- On July 31, 2019, he faced two felony charges. He was found guilty of reckless disregard of the risk of causing terror in another person and was convicted of terroristic threats. He was also charged with domestic assault by strangulation but it was dismissed.
- On June 27, 2020, he was involved in an incident in Stillwater, Minnesota, in which Sophia Rashid, a Muslim woman wearing a headscarf, was racially harassed by biker gang members wearing Aryan Cowboys vests.