On May 27th, two days after George Floyd was murdered by police and in the wake of the ensuing riots, a man holding an umbrella was seen smashing the windows of an Autozone with a sledgehammer. He also spray-painted on the Autozone "free shit for everyone."

For a long time, the identity of this masked marauder remained unknown. Was it the Penguin's taller brother seeking vengeance on Autozone for giving the Batmobile a tune-up? Was it, as someone in the video posited, "a fucking cop?" No one knew for certain until yesterday when police apparently identified the man through an email tip. The man in question, who has not yet been charged with any crimes and has not yet been named, is allegedly a known white supremacist as well as a member of both the Hell's Angels and the Aryan Cowboy Brotherhood.

Damn, with a resume like that, he must be a shoo-in to win prom king at the next Ku Klux Kotillian, especially considering the implications behind his Autozone vandalism. According to a search warrant affidavit written by Sgt. Erika Christensen:

"This was the first fire that set off a string of fires and looting throughout the precinct and the rest of the city. 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. Your affiant believes that this individual's sole aim was to incite violence."

So it turns out that Umbrella Man was an agent provocateur, a guy pretending to be a part of the protests and then looking to escalate violence from the inside. It's a sound strategy if you're a white supremacist shitbag since the media or the Government is more freely able to dismiss the cause of a movement when they can point to instances of violence and vandalism within that movement.

Now, we can discuss all day if the George Floyd protests would or wouldn't have escalated into riots without the aid of Umbrella Man, but certainly his presence at these protests, and the presence of others like him is a disturbing trend. Over the weekend, for example, peaceful demonstrations in Richmond, Virginia turned violent due to infiltration from White supremacists. Said Mayor Levar Stoney, in a news conference:

"There were white supremacists marching under the banner of Black Lives Matter, attempting to undermine an otherwise overwhelmingly peaceful movement towards social justice."

Apparently, members of these white supremacist groups even carried "Black Lives Matter" signs as a way to further disguise themselves. But this is nothing new. Agent provocateurs have been prevalent throughout history (it's why it has a fancy French name) and have been especially utilized by the police.

But let's get back to our Umbrella Man, our OsWhite CobblePower, if you will. (You know, because of the Penguin joke from earlier. No? Fair enough.) Here's a guy that was able to run around with an umbrella, smashing windows like an evil Gene Kelly, and for two months, anyone who saw that video could have assumed he represented BLM. Now we know better, and hopefully, in the future, we'll be better able to spot these other outside agitators as well.

Support Dan on Twitter and he will talk about his life with you in lieu of getting a therapist.

Top Image: Brad Svenson/Periscope, Chris Henry/Unsplash

Think Today Was Crazy?

Wait 'til you hear about the moments in history you missed! Get a new story sent directly to your inbox every day! No ads, no videos, just your daily shot of Cracked. Sign up now!

Forgot Password?