Minnesota Police Officers Caught Slashing Tires Amidst Protests

Cops were caught on video slashing the tires on cars belonging to protesters, medics and reporters.

cops slashing tires lead
Mother Jones

Having your tires slashed is an infuriating experience, typically followed by a call to the police. But who do you call when it's the cops doing the slashing? That's just what's been happening in Minneapolis, amidst widespread protests there over the death of local resident George Floyd at the hands of police. 

Evidence of the police slashings is presented rather plainly In several images and videos posted by Mother Jones. Officers in tactical gear can be seen walking up to cars and stabbing their tires with knives. Many believed these mass tire-slashings were the result of rioters, however, that is not the case. Both the Minnesota State Police and deputies of the Anoka County Sheriff's Department openly admitted to being responsible, saying they were slashing tires under the direction of the state-led Multi-Agency Command Center.

Among those affected: news crews, medics and protesters. 

As to the reasoning behind the giddy destruction of property, Minnesota Department of Public Safety spokesman Bruce Gordon told the Minneapolis Star-Tribune that "State Patrol troopers strategically deflated tires … in order to stop behaviors such as vehicles driving dangerously and at high speeds in and around protesters and law enforcement." Gordon also said that police slashed tires if they saw pieces of concrete, rocks, or sticks inside a vehicle.

Star-Tribune reporter Chris Serres says his tires were slashed at a local K-Mart, along with two dozen other cars. Other members of the media had their tires slashed, including reporters from Radio-Canada and The New Yorker. The K-Mart parking lot in question was reportedly used as a staging area for the police during the course of the protests, which explains why this particular location received the brunt of the damage. Apparently law enforcement felt the parked cars were a threat to their safety.

Gordon insists the process of "strategically" slashing people's tires was "not a typical tactic." However, he claims it was necessary to keep the area safe. It's unclear whether any sort of sum will be paid to replace the ruined tires or the cost to tow the vehicles to a shop, but I doubt any of that will happen, even though the police have claimed responsibility. Gordon added, "As in all operations of this size, there will be a review about how these decisions were made." 

That's comforting. I'm sure all the right people will be held accountable.

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