Following Police Brutality and Riots, Hackers of Anonymous Attack Minneapolis Police

News and Analysis

Amidst the wave of public outrage following the death of George Floyd in police custody, hacktivists from Anonymous group turned their skills against the Minneapolis police department involved. The hackers have already attacked the PD’s website and promised to expose a history of crimes committed by the officers.

According to the May 28th video statement attributed to Anonymous, the group is responding to the blatant unaccountability of the police officers who keep using excessive force on the streets. The message specifically mentions that two officers directly involved in the tragedy have a track record of suspected power abuse.

“These officers should face criminal charges […] Unfortunately, we do not trust [the police] to carry out justice, so we will be exposing your many crimes to the world. We are a legion. Expect us,” the video statement says.

On May 30th, two days after the statement was made, the website for the Minneapolis police department and the city’s official page suffered a cyberattack with subsequent service disruptions continuing through the night. At press time, both websites have come back online with additional security measures against DDoS attacks.

Anonymous hasn’t yet taken official responsibility for the attack on the websites. Still, the group is known for its members’ responses to acute social issues and protests around the world. Among other things, Anonymous hacktivists exposed members of the Ku Klux Klan in and targeted ISIS-related websites back in 2015, supported protests in Hong Kong in 2016, and hacked the United Nations website just this February calling for the inclusion of Taiwan in the UN.

The group has also responded to a similar incident in Ferguson in 2014 when a young man was shot by police officers. Back then, the hackers went on to find out and publish personal information about the officer suspected to be involved in the shooting but have may have blamed the wrong person as a result.

Following the death of George Floyd, protests calling to stop police brutality were sparked all over the world. At least 40 cities in the U.S. have imposed curfews to counter the riots.

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