St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter on Saturday walked back a prior claim that all those arrested in city riots a day earlier were from out of state, reportedly saying he was given inaccurate police data.
“I take full responsibility for that,” he said, according to Star Tribune reporter Torey Van Oot.
Earlier Saturday he told reporters that “every single person we arrested last night, I’m told, was from out of state.”
"What we are seeing right now is a group of people who are not from here,” he said.
Carter was one of a number of local officials who blamed out-of-staters for the violence that tore through the state on Friday night, in response to the shocking death of George Floyd in police custody.
Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey said Saturday that officials think "white supremacists" and "out-of-state instigators" could be behind the protests, while Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz said the majority of the protestors arrested were from outside Minneapolis and sought to take advantage of the chaos.
However, a report by KARE 11 showed "about 86 percent" of the recent 36 arrests by Minneapolis-based police agencies listed their address in Minnesota, and that they live in Minneapolis or the metro area, according to data the outlet analyzed from the Hennepin County Jail's roster. Five out-of-state cases came from Arkansas, Florida, Illinois, Michigan and Missouri, according to KARE 11.
The Minneapolis mayor’s office, after repeated requests for comment from Fox News including about the KARE 11 reporting, said Saturday evening they "will look into this." A separate official from the mayor's office told Fox News: "You'll have to contact the Governor's office."
President Trump has also sought to blame people crossing state lines, claiming that “80 percent of the RIOTERS in Minneapolis last night were from OUT OF STATE."
That was echoed by Attorney General William Barr in a statement Saturday afternoon.
“Groups of outside radicals and agitators are exploiting the situation to pursue their own separate and violent agenda,” he said, blaming far-left groups like Antifa.
A USA Today report quoted a security consultant saying intelligence reports indicate many of the more serious protesters are far-left or anarchists, without a significant appearance yet by far-right groups – while noting locals and outsiders could be involved in conflicts with authorities.
Fox News’ Caitlin McFall contributed to this report.