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Agent provocateur: A police agent who creates or incites violence to justify armed intervention, which might otherwise not be warranted.
A video has been circulating of a white man casually smashing the windows of a Minneapolis shop with a hammer during protests against the police murder of George Floyd. The man is clearly trying to hide his identity by wearing a gas mask, carrying a large umbrella, and wearing full-length black clothing.
Protesters can be seen intervening to stop his destructive behavior in the video.
"Are you a f*cking cop?" one asks.
An officer with the Saint Paul Police Department has been publicly named by someone identified as the officer's ex-wife, who said his voice, walk and gas mask made her "90% sure" it was him. The Saint Paul Police Department has denied this.
Maybe it is, maybe it isn't, but it is a very safe bet that it's a law enforcement officer of some kind. Disruptive police infiltration of protest movements is a historical constant in America, after all. It is the norm, not the exception.
Protests have spread throughout the United States since the emergence of that footage. Journalist Max Blumenthal has uploaded a very interesting video of an encounter he had with an undercover cop posing as a protester in Washington, DC.
Look what I found outside #dcprotest. An obvious cop dressed like a protester getting out of an unmarked car and telling me he's a CNN reporter. Beware of the lying provocateurs out here! pic.twitter.com/f90wYSjbGS
- Max Blumenthal (@MaxBlumenthal) May 30, 2020
Blumenthal began following a man he reports he'd spotted coming out of an unmarked vehicle in an area that had been completely sealed off by marked police cars, meaning the police were restricting who came and went from that area. Blumenthal began questioning the man, asking him if he'd been to the protests and if he was a cop. The man said he'd been to the protests but denied he was a cop, saying that he worked with CNN.
Blumenthal then went to the unmarked vehicle the man had come from, where two more men were seated. He asked them if they were cops, which they denied, then asked if they were with CNN, which they also denied, saying they were "just hanging out". Blumenthal informed them that he'd just caught the fake protester in a lie, at which point they rolled up the car window.
Local outlet KHOU 11 News was told by the Houston police department that protests over George Floyd's murder would be attended by both "uniformed officers and plain-clothed officers". This admission cannot be found in KHOU's reporting any longer, but it has been screenshotted and still shows up on Google searches as of this writing.
In New York, protesters have conclusively worked out that cops posing as demonstrators are currently wearing white armbands to identify each other. Ways of identifying plain-clothes cops are being circulated by protesters on social media.
None of these people are paranoid or irrational. For generations it has been a well-established fact that police will reliably infiltrate protests and political movements, and it remains so to this day.
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