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Man who helped burn precinct during Floyd unrest sentenced

MINNEAPOLIS — A St. Paul man has been sentenced to more than three years in prison for his role in the arson fire that burned a Minneapolis police station during protests over the death of George Floyd.

Branden Michael Wolfe, 23, was given 41 months in prison Tuesday after earlier pleading guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit arson. Wolfe was also ordered to serve two years of supervised release and pay $12 million in restitution for damages to the Third Precinct station on May 28, 2020.

According to court documents, Wolfe pushed a barrel into a fire located in the entrance of the station with the intent of accelerating it.

Prosecutors say Wolfe also entered the station and took several items, including a police vest, duty belt, handcuffs, baton, knife and ammunition. Wolfe was arrested last June wearing the police vest, the duty belt and carrying the tactical baton, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

The civil unrest that followed Floyd’s death led Gov. Tim Walz to call in the National Guard. Floyd, a Black man, died May 25 after former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, who is white, knelt on his neck as Floyd was on the ground with his hands cuffed behind his back.

Chauvin was convicted last month of second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.

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