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Burned corpse found in building that was torched in George Floyd protests nearly 2 months ago

2020-07-22

The charred body of an unidentified man was found Monday inside a Minneapolis pawn shop that was burned during the George Floyd protests nearly two months ago, authorities said.

The case has been turned over to the city’s homicide detectives as police believe the victim died in a fire that was intentionally set on May 28, just three days after Floyd’s caught-on-tape death.

A 25-year-old man was charged with arson last month in connection with the blaze. Federal prosecutors said the suspect, Montez Lee, was caught on video pouring liquid from a metal container throughout the shop.

A second video allegedly shows him standing in front of the burning building and saying, “f—k this place” and “we’re gonna burn” this place down, according to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, or ATF.

Lee is one of several people facing federal charges in connection with the civil unrest that followed Floyd’s horrific death at the hands of four Minneapolis officers. The unarmed Black man was handcuffed and lying face down when a white cop knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes.

The man who was found Monday “appears to have suffered thermal injury,” police spokesman John Elder told the Star Tribune.

His identity and the exact cause of death will be released after an autopsy is completed, according to the paper.