The Associated Press analyzed court records, employment histories, social media posts and other sources of information for 217 people arrested last weekend in Minneapolis and the District of Columbia, two cities at the epicenter of the protests across the United States.
Rather than outside agitators, more than 85% of those arrested by police were local residents. Of those charged with such offenses as curfew violations, rioting and failure to obey law enforcement, only a handful appeared to have any affiliation with organized groups.
Those charged with more serious offenses related to looting and property destruction – such as arson, burglary and theft – often had past criminal records. But they, too, were overwhelmingly local residents taking advantage of the chaos.
Social media posts indicate only a few of those arrested are left-leaning activists, including a self-described anarchist. But others had indications of being on the political right, including some Trump supporters.