There are many ways to describe the momentum Black Lives Matter and police reform have received in our home state in the wake of George Floyd’s murder at the hands of Minneapolis police officers.
In a post attributed to Rep. Matt Grossell (R-Clearbrook) and reshared on the Beltrami County Republicans Facebook page on Wednesday morning, “evil” was among them.
The screed, apparently copied and pasted from Grossell's personal Facebook page, was also screenshotted and distributed elsewhere.
Among other things, the post says unrest prompted by Floyd’s murder is “not about race” and part of “a coordinated attack on our God given freedoms.”
“The tragic death of one man has been used as a springboard for an alter agenda to destroy this republic and any other free nation around the world,” it said. Grossell's post calls upon his “brothers and sisters across the state,” “nation,” and “world” to “stand ready to face this evil.”
“Please share this as far and wide as you possibly can,” it concluded.
You can read it in its entirety here.
Grossell, a former sheriff’s deputy in Clearwater County, didn’t respond to interview requests, so we can't confirm these words were his, originally, or what exactly he meant by them. Nor did the Beltrami County Republicans respond to explain why this content was reprinted on their page.
If you’ve heard Grossell's name before, it’s probably because last year, he had his own run-in with law enforcement after getting getting super drunk at the St. Paul Best Western and telling police there would be “hell to pay” when they tried to take him in. (He also, weirdly, asked for Crocs. Like, the shoes.)
Or maybe you remember this year, when he got into kind of a semi-aggressive, finger-pointy argument with Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey after he and other Minnesota Republicans (overwhelmingly not from the Twin Cities) pushed a bill upping spending on – you guessed it -- policing in Minneapolis and St. Paul.
If, for any reason, you're wondering whether you want to follow the Beltrami County Republicans Facebook page for more content like this, we invite you to peruse the following.