Surveillance video shows St. Paul police officer is not 'Umbrella Man' from Minneapolis riots

New surveillance video proves a St. Paul, Minnesota police officer rumored to be a mysterious, umbrella-carrying man that smashed windows of a business during the Minneapolis riots could not have been at the scene during the crime.

The St. Paul Police Department released video Monday showing Officer Jacob Pederson going in and out of a Richard H. Rowan Public Safety Training Center at 600 Lafayette Rd. in St. Paul during the time in which the “Umbrella Man” smashed windows at a Minneapolis AutoZone on May 27.

The “Umbrella Man” video was first posted to Twitter and a link to the video was shared by Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison. Other Twitter users posted a side-by-side photo suggesting that the masked person was Officer Pederson. 

The department debunked the rumor on May 28, but decided to release the surveillance video footage of Pederson leaving the St. Paul facility at 6:38 p.m. after being there for approximately three hours. The AutoZone windows were smashed at 6:32 p.m. The AutoZone and the training facility are approximately nine miles apart.

“We knew right away that our officer was not involved in instigating the unrest in Minneapolis because we knew exactly where he was at the time—and he was in Saint Paul,” said Saint Paul Police Chief Todd Axtell. “Unfortunately, some people continue to spread the lie—either out of genuine concern, a lack of knowledge about the situation, or maliciousness—so we’ve taken the extraordinary step of releasing the video that shows exactly where the officer was.”