2 charged in arson fires set amid George Floyd protests

Published 5:01 am Friday, February 19, 2021

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MINNEAPOLIS — Federal authorities said Thursday they’ve charged two more people in arson fires set during protests that followed George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis after being arrested by police.

Jose Angel Felan Jr., 34, and Mena Dhaya Yousif, 22, both of Rochester, were charged after being arrested in Mexico on immigration violations. The U.S. Attorney’s office in Minnesota said Felan is charged with three counts of arson and Yusif is charged with being an accessory after the fact for allegedly helping Felan evade police.

Authorities said Felan set fires May 28 at a Goodwill store, Gordon Parks High School and a 7 Mile Sportswear store, all on University Avenue in St. Paul.

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The pair are in custody in California pending a detention hearing next week, the U.S. attorney’s office said. Attorneys listed for them did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Floyd, a Black man who was in handcuffs at the time, died May 25 after a white police officer, Derek Chauvin, kneeled on his neck for a number of minutes even as Floyd cried out that he couldn’t breathe. Widely seen bystander video sparked protests in the city, including violence, arson and theft, and quickly spread around the country.