A Staples man was sentenced Monday, June 7, to 27 months in prison for his role in the arson fires at the Minneapolis Police Department’s Third Precinct building.

According to court documents, on the night of May 28, 2020, Bryce Michael Williams, 27, went to the Third Precinct where a crowd of hundreds had gathered. At one point, the crowd began shouting, “Burn it down, burn it down.” Soon after, a fence designed to keep trespassers out of the Third Precinct building was torn down.

Williams, along with other co-conspirators, breached the fence and entered the Third Precinct building. Surveillance video footage from the Third Precinct showed Williams standing near the entrance of the Third Precinct holding a Molotov cocktail while a co-conspirator, later identified as Davon De-Andre Turner, lit the wick. The Molotov cocktail was taken into the Third Precinct by Turner and was used to start a fire. Williams later threw a box on an existing fire located just outside the Third Precinct entrance.

Bryce Michael Williams
Bryce Michael Williams

“All four defendants charged in federal court have now been sentenced for their individual roles in the burning and near total destruction of the Minneapolis Police Department’s Third Precinct building,” Acting U.S. Attorney W. Anders Folk stated in a news release. “Mr. Williams and his co-defendants have been held accountable for their dangerous and destructive actions. I thank our federal, state, and local partners who pursued justice in these cases.”

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A Brainerd man, who also was implicated in the arson at the Third Precinct, was sentenced April 28. Dylan Shakespeare Robinson, 23, received a 48-month prison sentence for his role in the arson fire last year at the Minneapolis Police Department’s Third Precinct building. He was ordered to serve two years of supervised release and pay $12 million in restitution, the U.S. Department of Justice reported.

Williams pleaded guilty Nov. 19, 2020, to one count of conspiracy to commit arson. As part of his sentencing, Williams was ordered to serve two years of supervised release and pay $12 million in restitution.

This case was the result of an investigation conducted jointly by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Minneapolis Police Department and the Minnesota State Fire Marshal Division.

This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Harry M. Jacobs and David P. Steinkamp.