Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

An officer dressed in a military uniform punctures the tires of a car on May 31, 2020 in Minneapolis. (Photo: Global News/Screengrab)

'Who Does This Protect?' Minnesota Authorities Admit Officers Slashed Car Tires During Protests

"Medics over there. News crews. Random people that were just here to protest and—tires slashed."

Jake Johnson

Minnesota authorities on Monday admitted that state patrol troopers and Minneapolis police officers slashed the tires of dozens of parked cars late last month during protests over the killing of George Floyd, leaving demonstrators, medics, and journalists stranded.

The Minnesota Department of Public Safety confirmed that the tactic was used after videos posted to social media showed officers dressed in military uniforms using knives to puncture the tires of idle vehicles as protests against police brutality and racial injustice erupted across Minneapolis.

Bruce Gordon, spokesperson for the Department of Public Safety, said in a statement that "state patrol troopers strategically deflated tires" in an effort to "stop behaviors such as vehicles driving dangerously and at high speeds in and around protesters and law enforcement."

Gordon said state patrol officers targeted cars that were carrying "items used to cause harm during violent protests," without providing any evidence that the cars contained such items.

Anoka County Sheriff's Lt. Andy Knotz acknowledged Monday that Minneapolis police officers joined the state patrol troopers in slashing the tires of parked cars. Knotz said the officers were following orders from the state Multi-Agency Command Center. As Common Dreams reported Sunday, a veto-proof majority of Minneapolis City Council members have committed to disband the Minneapolis Police Department over its conduct in recent years, including the killing of Floyd on May 25.

New York reporter Luke Mogelson, whose rental car tires were slashed as he covered a May 31 protest in Minneapolis, told Mother Jones that officers "were laughing" and "had grins on their faces" as they told him his tires were punctured.

Documentary producer Andrew Kimmel returned to a K-Mart parking lot in Minneapolis on May 31 to find that police had slashed all four of the tires of his rental car as he covered protests in the city.

"They've also slashed every other car," Kimmel said in a video posted on Twitter. "Every car that's parked here has their tires slashed. Every single car. Unbelievable."

In an interview in the K-Mart parking lot later that same morning, a tow truck driver told Kimmel that he was "so busy" towing cars that had their tires slashed.

"Medics over there. News crews. Random people that were just here to protest and—tires slashed," the driver said. "It's unbelievable."


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

... We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

Senate Dems Help Torpedo Resolution That Would Have Blocked $650 Million Arms Sale to Saudi Arabia

"My simple question is, why in the world would the United States reward a regime that has caused such pain in Yemen with more weapons," Sanders asked after the vote. "The answer is we should not."

Brett Wilkins ·


Amnesty Scorecard Finds Twitter Failing to Protect Women From Online Abuse

"As our world has become increasingly dependent on digital spaces during the Covid-19 pandemic, it's critical that Twitter meet this moment with demonstrated commitment to improving the online experiences of all users, regardless of their identity."

Jessica Corbett ·


Filibuster Reform for Debt Ceiling Fight But Not Voting Rights or Reproductive Freedom?

"If our senators are willing to suspend the filibuster to protect our economy, they should be willing to suspend it to protect our democracy and our freedom to vote."

Jessica Corbett ·


As Senate Holds Guantánamo Hearing, Biden Urged to 'Finally End This Chapter of Injustice'

"Guantánamo is a centerpiece of the forever wars. It is a shameful symbol of racial injustice, torture, and violations of the Constitution and international law."

Brett Wilkins ·


'Unbreakable Solidarity': Kellogg's Workers Reject Contract That Would Leave New Employees Out of Benefits

"We're not willing to sell our souls for our future employees that are going to work side by side with us but not get the same pay or benefits."

Julia Conley ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.


Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo