A man known on social media as the “pink shirt pizza guy” spoke out in a video interview shortly before he was seen trying to stop another man carrying an umbrella from knocking out windows of an AutoZone in Minneapolis, Minnesota. In a four-minute interview, the “pink shirt” man told viewers that although the protests that day were good, they weren’t enough. He said that the people protesting need to keep fighting in the coming weeks, including in upcoming elections. You can see the video below, along with a transcription of the clearest parts of the video. At the end of the story, you can see a compilation of videos of his encounters with the umbrella man, including the two walking near each other later.
‘This Does Not Matter If We Just Shut Up After a Month,’ He Said at the Beginning of the Interview
In the video interview below, you can see the man who was wearing a pink shirt talking about the protests before his encounter at AutoZone later. The video was recorded by Emma Leigh Fiala, a journalist in Minnesota who has been live streaming the protests and reporting on the ground. He might be a little hard to understand at first, but soon the audio clears and he’s easy to understand. Heavy will follow up with more details about the man as they are known.
The video interview was recorded as part of a live stream outside the Minneapolis Police Third Precinct on May 27. The interview happened before the same man was seen later in a video that’s gone viral on social media. In that video, he’s seen confronting a man carrying an umbrella and wearing a mask who started breaking windows at an AutoZone.
The “pink shirt man” approached Fiala and asked if he could speak to the people watching her video. It’s a little hard to understand what he says right at the beginning, with so much audio in the background. You can see the full live stream that includes the interview in the Facebook video below. The interview starts at about 10:40, but you can also watch just the interview in the YouTube video above.
The man in the pink shirt said that the protests are very important. But, he added, it’s equally important to make sure that what happened does not happen again by voting and taking more action in the future.
Here’s a transcription of the part of the interview that was easiest to understand over the sounds of the protest all around him.
We can’t just vote for the people and expect change and then not call them out when they don’t make the change. We have got to call people out. We have got to make sure that the people that are capable of making the change — the people that we vote in — are doing their job, are doing what we are asking them to do.
This does not matter if we just shut up after a month. This does not matter if we be quiet and we don’t respond if something doesn’t happen. We have to continue. So all of this is great, but where are all these people gonna be in two weeks, in three weeks, in four weeks, in two months? Where are these people gonna be at? Y’all fighting, y’all moving in anger, that’s fine. We need something to mobilize.
But then adjust. Change your emotions. Don’t just move in anger the whole time. Because when you do that you have inconsistency, we have things like this that keep happening. We’re out here fighting right now, but let’s say they get off. What’s gonna happen then? What’re we gonna do? Most of the time we don’t do anything because all we want to do is sit here and yell at these people. All we want to do is sit here and yell and cuss them out. What about us? What have we done to prevent this from happening before it happened? Stop reacting — react beforehand.
This is great but it means nothing — it means nothing — if we do not continue after this… We all go to our own houses and our own jobs and all of this stops, we have to still be fighting at home, we have to still be fighting at work, we have to still be fighting in the streets. Not just because somebody got killed. Let’s fight to make sure they don’t get killed.
All of this — this is great. But these people saying, ‘F the police,’ that is great. But what is that gonna solve? Let’s come up with solutions. Let’s be solution-based. … What’re we gonna do when the police chief comes up election year? If y’all don’t like what he do, are y’all gonna go vote for somebody else? When they have meetings, when they have council meetings and things like that, are y’all showing up in numbers, expressing your … concern, are you expressing what’s happening on a daily basis?
Don’t just react just because we’re mad now that somebody died… It’s too late. George Floyd is already dead. Are we going to do what we could have done to stop it, to prevent it. Let’s stand out here and fight, cuz this is a problem. But understand it’s not just today, it’s not just this weekend. This thing has been happening for 40-something years, and people are … getting killed. And then nothing, they get off. And we just walk away and tuck our tails between our legs. Do something in two weeks.
After he finished speaking, he tried to apologize for speaking so long, but Fiala told him he was good. She said she enjoyed hearing his viewpoints and thanked him for sharing his thoughts.
The ‘Pink Shirt Man’ Was Seen Later on Videos in Several Encounters with a Man Carrying an Umbrella Who Broke AutoZone Windows
The man wearing a pink shirt was seen in several videos later, where he encountered a mysterious person carrying an umbrella who broke out windows at an AutoZone. The man who broke the windows has been the subject of many social media queries and theories.
In the video below, you can him interacting with the ‘umbrella man’ and trying to stop him as the man breaks out windows at AutoZone. Then you can later hear someone holding a camera yelling at the umbrella man and asking if he’s a cop. The St. Paul, Minnesota Police Department told Heavy that the umbrella man in the video is not their police officer. Rumors about the man’s identity have circulated on social media, including texts claiming to identify the man. The names of the people who sent the texts were blacked out, but Heavy has reached out to multiple sources for more information about the contents of those text messages.
In this next video, you can see the man with the umbrella standing behind a photojournalist.
And then later, after the confrontation at the AutoZone, you can see the man wearing the pink shirt following the man with the umbrella. It’s not clear where they went after this video.
The man in the pink shirt and the man with the umbrella have not yet been identified. The man wearing the pink shirt did give a passionate interview about the protests, seen in the video at the beginning of this article. That interview happened before the videos showing him encountering the man at AutoZone later that day.
Emma Leigh Fiala, who interviewed the man wearing the pink shirt, has been live streaming the protests in Minnesota, including from Minneapolis and St. Paul. She posted another video of the protests later that night.
Then she documented the aftermath the next day:
She is out again on Friday, May 29, and shared a video from Cup Foods in Minneapolis.
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