Mitchell Carlson is accused in a police search warrant application of being a Hell’s Angels biker who may be the notorious so-called “Umbrella Man” authorities believe purposely incited violence in Minneapolis by breaking windows at an AutoZone store after the death of George Floyd. He has not been charged with a crime but is under investigation, the application reveals.
The application further accuses Carlson, who is a Minnesota man per his criminal history, of being a “full-fledged member of the Hell’s Angels” biker gang and a “known associate of the Aryan Cowboys” who police believe was purposely trying to stir up racial discord after Floyd’s death. Police described the Aryan Cowboys as “a known prison gang out of Minnesota and Kentucky.”
The Anti-Defamation League describes the Aryan Cowboy Brotherhood as “a small white supremacist prison/street gang based primarily in Minnesota and Kentucky. Its main symbol consists of a helmeted and winged skull with the initials ACB.”
Carlson’s full name is Mitchell Wesley Carlson. Heavy obtained the application for a search warrant from the Hennepin County court system. You can read it in full here. Ever since a viral video emerged of the black-clad, gas-mask wearing Umbrella Man systematically breaking windows before wide-scale looting and arson fires broke out in Minneapolis, speculation has raged about his identity, with some on social media arguing from the start that he was an outsider trying to incite a riot, not a member of Antifa.
Now it emerges that Minneapolis police believe Carlson might be the Umbrella Man. Erika Christensen, a Minnesota peace officer, made the application for a warrant to search premises and property, including cell phone calls and texts. She was also seeking the cell phone towers that Carlson’s cell phone was “pinging off of.”
Heavy has reached out to Carlson for comment through his Facebook page.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. The Man Was Dressed All in Black & Carrying a Black Umbrella as He Broke Windows With a Sledgehammer, Police Say
The warrant application describes that the “primary gathering for protests” after Floyd’s death was the Minneapolis Third Precinct. It says that “kiddy corner from the precinct, on the northeast corner, was a business called The Auto Zone.”
On Wednesday, May 27, 2020, in the late afternoon to early evening, a male, “dressed all in black (black pants, black jacket, black hood/hat, black shoes and black gloves and wearing a black gas mask) and carrying a black umbrella was video‐taped/recorded walking along the front of the Auto Zone and using what looks to be a 4 pound sledge hammer breaking out all of the stores front windows,” police wrote in the application.
“This male is then approached by several people, and, while you could not hear the exchange the body language of those who approached this ‘Umbrella Man,’ appeared to be gesturing in a way like they were telling him not to do that.”
Police believe that the same “Umbrella Man” had spray painted the words “free sh** for everyone zone” on double red doors on the front of the AutoZone store, the application says.
“Upon looking at the video of the ‘Umbrella Man,’ a white substance is observed on his right index finger of his gloves,” police wrote. “This would match with the white spray paint used to write on the double red doors. This was done prior to breaking out the windows. The ‘Umbrella Man’ is followed by a black male in a pink shirt.” (Read more about the man in the pink shirt here.)
According to police, the man in the pink shirt followed “Umbrella Man” as he “walks around to the rear of the building (north side). The male in the pink shirt can be heard questioning ‘Umbrella man’ as to who he is. At this point the ‘Umbrella Man’ turns to the pink shirt male and yells at him (what was said was unintelligible).”
Some people on social media falsely blamed a local police officer for the Umbrella Man’s actions, but his department said he had a rock-solid alibi and was not the Umbrella Man.
2. Police Believe the Umbrella Man’s Actions Set Off a Chain Reaction of Looting & Arson; Carlson’s Facebook Page Contains Nazi Imagery
On Facebook, Carlson goes by the name “Mitch Carlson.” His page contains some Nazi imagery, such as the above still of actor Edward Norton from the movie American History X, which tells the story of a former neo-Nazi skinhead. He also shared this post:
Other photos show him on motorcycles or giving the middle finger to the camera. In the comment thread of a photo he shared of a Black man, people posted pictures of Adolf Hitler. He also showed an interest in the Texas heavy metal band Pantera. He wrote that he went to Champlin Park Senior High School.
He liked various Hell’s Angels pages but also pages called “prosecute Obama,” “P*ssed Off White Americans” and “Minnesota Gun Rights.” He liked Facebook pages about celebrities, such as “Robertson Family Values” and the pages of Ted Nugent and Dave Chappelle.
Umbrella Man walked westbound away from the scene alone, the police application says.
“In a short time after the front windows are broken out in the Auto Zone, looting started,” police wrote. “Within a short time after the looting started, the Auto Zone was set on fire. This was the first fire that set off a string of fires and looting throughout the precinct and the rest of the city.”
According to police, “Until the actions of the person your affiant has been calling ‘Umbrella man,’ the protests had been relatively peaceful. The actions of this person created an atmosphere of hostility and tension.”
Police contend: “Your affiant believes that this individual’s sole aim was to incite violence.”
The Wall Street Journal reported that “a judge has granted permission” for Minneapolis police to search Carlson’s phone records.
3. Police Received a Tip That the Umbrella Man Might Be Carlson, Who Has a Criminal History in Minnesota
For days, the police watched “innumerable hours of social media, TikTok, Snapchat, Instagram, YouTube, etc. in attempts to identify ‘Umbrella Man.’”
No identification was made. Police worked with the Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms’ National Response Team, also to no avail.
Then came a break: “Within this past week your affiant became aware of a tip that had been emailed to the Minneapolis Police regarding this individual,” police wrote. “The information was that the person responsible for breaking out the Auto Zone windows and who was known commonly as ‘Umbrella Man’ is a MITCHELL WESLEY CARLSON.”
Police tracked down the tipster who revealed the information “came to them via another person who wished to remain anonymous because they fear Carlson.”
A review of Minnesota court records shows that Carlson has been accused in various cases throughout the years. In one case, he was accused of dangerous weapons-metal knuckles/switch blade and hunting-transportation of firearms as well as drug possession, but the charges were dismissed. He also faced various traffic offenses.
He was convicted of disorderly conduct-brawling or fighting. A charge of fleeing a police officer was dismissed. Charges of assault in the second degree were dismissed in another case but he was convicted of “assault in the fifth degree (bodily harm),” court records show.
Earlier this year, Carlson was also convicted of “terroristic threats-reckless disregard risk” but a charge of domestic assault by strangulation was dismissed. He was convicted of “domestic abuse no contact order-violate no contact order-within 10 years of previous conviction.”
4. The Application Accuses Carlson of Being a Member of the Hell’s Angels & Aryan Cowboys Who Wanted to ‘Sow Discord’ & Racial Unrest
According to the application, the tipster told police that Carlson “is a member of the Hell’s Angels and that Carlson wanted to sow discord and racial unrest by breaking out the windows and writing what he did on the double red doors.”
Daily Beast reported that “despite initial reports that many people arrested in Minneapolis were from out of state, most were later revealed to be locals,” causing some activists to believe an “outside agitator” narrative that took root on social media was “a means of discrediting their movement.”
However, Daily Beast noted the reporting of a journalist named Emma Best who said law enforcement documents indicated the Aryan Cowboys “had taken advantage of ongoing civil unrest to move large amounts of heroin into the Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota area.” They were accused of discussing “inciting riots while posing as Antifa members,” the document she shared on Twitter says.
5. Police Allege That Carlson Was Present When a Muslim Woman Was Harassed by Motorcycle Club Members in Aryan Cowboy Leather Vests
The application alleges that on June 27, 2020, Carlson “was present during an incident in Stillwater Minnesota where a Muslim woman was racially harassed by a group of motorcycle club members wearing Aryan Cowboy leather vests. Carlson was photographed with this group.”
The Minneapolis Star Tribune reported in June of that incident that “a Muslim woman who said she felt threatened by men wearing white supremacist garb this weekend in downtown Stillwater led Monday to a police investigation and a social media storm.” The woman wrote a Facebook post that said she was eating with her young daughter when the men started to yell at her or “seemed to be talking about her.” Employees at the restaurant offered to “escort her and her child to safety,” the newspaper reported. She then posted photos she said were of the men, and Stillwater police began investigating.
The Star Tribune was first to report the existence of the search warrant application, although they didn’t print Carlson’s name.
The warrant application notes that there is a “striking resemblance” between the Umbrella Man and Carlson. “Also, of note is also a slight variation in Carlson’s left eyebrow that is present in the photos of ‘Umbrella Man,’” police wrote, adding that Carlson “is also approximately 6’02,” which also fits with the height of ‘Umbrella Man’ on video and in screen shots as he walks along breaking out the windows and is approached by several people, ‘Umbrella Man’ is taller than those around him.”
The unrest in Minneapolis and St. Paul came after a viral video showing Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin pressing his knee against the neck of a man named George Floyd during an arrest. Floyd pleads that he can’t breathe and then goes silent, but Chauvin keeps him restrained in that manner despite bystanders urging police to check on his welfare. Chauvin and three other officers have been fired and charged with crimes. Floyd was pronounced dead a short time later at a hospital.
The turmoil in the streets escalated, starting on the evening of May 27, as an AutoZone was lit on fire, Target was looted and other businesses were destroyed or damaged. You can see a list and photos of some of the damaged businesses here.