MINNEAPOLIS – A federal jury found a St. Paul man guilty of arson and riot after looting, damaging, and burning businesses in downtown Minneapolis, announced Acting U.S. Attorney W. Anders Folk.
Following a four-day trial before Judge Joan N. Ericksen, Victor Devon Edwards, 32, was convicted of one count of riot and one count of arson.
According to the evidence presented at trial, on the evening of August 26, 2020, Edwards joined a large crowd that had gathered in downtown Minneapolis following false rumors regarding police involvement in the death of a man on Nicollet Mall earlier that evening. Throughout the course of the evening, Edwards engaged in acts of rioting, looting, and other property damage. Beginning around 9:00 p.m., Edwards and his co-defendant Shador Tommie Cortez Jackson worked together to steal women’s purses and other items from Saks Off Fifth. Edwards sent text messages to various acquaintances telling them, “I got M[ichael] K[ors] purses.” In response to a text message from one acquaintance asking why he was downtown, Edwards simply replied, “Lootin.”
Shortly before 11:00 p.m., Edwards and Jackson were captured on video surveillance using a construction sign to break into the Target Corporation’s headquarters building. Once inside, Jackson started a fire inside the mailroom while Edwards added a liquid accelerant to fuel the fire.
This case is the result of an investigation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), the FBI, the Minneapolis Fire Department, and the Minneapolis, Bloomington, and Richfield Police Departments.
This case was tried by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Nathan H. Nelson and Chelsea A. Walcker.