The Potluck

St. Paul man charged in connection with fire at Minneapolis police station

By: - June 8, 2020 5:46 pm

Branden Wolfe was arrested wearing police gear several days after the Minneapolis Police’s Third Precinct was set on fire.

A 23-year-old man from St. Paul has been charged in connection with the May 28 fire at the Minneapolis Police’s Third Precinct Station during riots and protests following the police killing of George Floyd.

Branden Wolfe was arrested several days later, on June 3, near a hardware store where he previously worked as a security guard. He was wearing police tactical gear, carrying a baton and appeared to be trying to get into the store, according to the complaint, when police were called.

They pulled over his car a few blocks away and found him wearing a police duty belt with handcuffs, an earpiece and knife.

Branden Wolfe identified himself to police as the shirtless individual in this picture according to the criminal complaint against him.

According to the complaint filed in federal court, Wolfe waived his Miranda rights and told police he took items from the Third Precinct and pushed a wooden barrel into the fire. He also identified himself in multiple photographs of the scene including one where he’s shirtless and raising an axe above his head in front of the police station.

Wolfe told police officers he knew pushing the barrel into the fire would make it bigger, but the complaint doesn’t allege he helped start the fire.

When officers searched his apartment, they found more items belonging to Minneapolis police including a 9mm magazine, a riot helmet and police radio.

Wolfe’s first court appearance is June 9.

This story is developing and may be updated. 

Branden Wolfe complaint

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Max Nesterak
Max Nesterak

Max Nesterak is the deputy editor of the Reformer and reports on labor and housing. Most recently he was an associate producer for Minnesota Public Radio after a stint at NPR. He also co-founded the Behavioral Scientist and was a Fulbright Scholar to Berlin, Germany.