A man was fined $12 million and will serve four years in prison for trying to set fire to the Minneapolis Police Department’s Third Precinct building last year in the midst of protests and riots.
Dylan Shakespeare Robinson, 23, was also ordered to serve two years of supervised release, according to the United States Attorney’s Office District of Minnesota.
“On the night of May 28, 2020, Mr. Robinson chose to depart from lawful protest and instead engaged in violence and destruction,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Anders Folk in a statement. “The arson at the Minneapolis Police Department’s Third Precinct put lives at risk and contributed to widespread lawlessness in Minneapolis.”
Robinson, of Brainerd, pleaded guilty in December to one count of conspiracy to commit arson.
Robinson’s lawyer, William Mauzy, said that his client is being unfairly singled out, adding “there is no realistic chance” he’ll be able to pay off the $12 million fine.
“He is bearing the sentence for the other thousand people who participated,” he told New York Times on Wednesday. “Many others, far more culpable than Mr. Robinson, were not identified.”
A federal criminal complaint accused him of lighting a Molotov cocktail that another person tossed at the police building on May 28, 2020.
Before that, a crowd of rioters was heard shouting: “Burn it down” multiple times in front of the building, according to authorities.
“Robinson, along with other co-conspirators, breached the fence and entered the building. Robinson, assisted by an unidentified co-conspirator, lit an object held by the unidentified co-conspirator who threw it toward the Third Precinct building with the intent that it would start a fire or fuel an existing fire,” the U.S. attorney’s office said.