Law & the Courts

Body Found in Wreckage of Minneapolis Pawn Shop Burned in George Floyd Riots

The remnants of buildings destroyed during riots that erupted after the death of George Floyd stand near downtown Minneapolis, Minn., June 1, 2020. (Lucas Jackson/Reuters)

Investigators have discovered the charred remains of a body in a Minneapolis pawn shop that was set ablaze in the riots after the death of George Floyd, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported on Tuesday.

The building that housed the pawn shop, Max It Pawn, was burned to the ground on May 28. Agents from the Minneapolis Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives found the body while following up on an anonymous tip.

“The body appears to have suffered thermal injury and we do have somebody charged with setting fire to that place,” police spokesman John Elder told the Tribune. Elder said the victim’s identity would be released after an autopsy is performed.

Max It Pawn is three blocks east of the Minneapolis third police precinct, which was burned to the ground on May 25. George Floyd was killed during his arrest by officers from that precinct.

Federal prosecutors have charged Montez Terrill Lee, 25, with the arson of the building that housed Max It Pawn. Lee, from Rochester, Minn., can allegedly be seen pouring liquid from a metal cannister inside the shop in video footage provided anonymously to police. In another clip, Lee was allegedly recorded standing in front of the building saying, “[Expletive] this place. We’re gonna burn this [expletive] down.”

The riots following the death of Floyd have caused roughly $500 million in damage to Minneapolis businesses, according to Minnesota governor Tim Walz. The Federal Emergency Management Agency earlier this month denied Walz’s request for $16 million in aid to rebuild damaged buildings.

“The impact to public infrastructure is within the capabilities of the local and state governments to recover from,” FEMA said in a statement at the time.

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Zachary Evans is a news writer for National Review Online. He is a veteran of the Israeli Defense Forces and a trained violist.


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