Some were appalled at the treatment of an apparently disabled elderly woman; others claimed she was neither elderly nor disabled.
Shocking videos from Minneapolis show a woman in a wheelchair being battered as she confronted looters ransacking a Target store.
Witnesses claim the woman was armed with a knife and was stabbing people exiting the store.
Unrest gripped the Minnesota city on Wednesday night in the wake of the killing of George Floyd, who died after a police officer knelt on his neck for more than six minutes during an arrest over a suspected fake $20 note.
WARNING: Graphic Content
At the Target in Minneapolis that was being looted tonight during the BLM riot, a woman in a wheelchair was attacked. pic.twitter.com/JxsXTB30xI
One Target felt the brunt of it as videos shared across social media showed the store being completely ransacked, as looters cleared the shelves and smashed the interior to pieces.
A woman driving a motorized wheelchair attempted to intervene, blocking people fleeing with shopping carts, but was roughly dragged out of the way.
She then attempted to block a fire exit as people poured through, and was summarily beaten over the head and sprayed with a fire extinguisher.
Video captured earlier of the elderly wheelchair-bound woman who was attacked at the Minneapolis Target during the BLM riot. In a later interview, she said she was trying to do her part in stopping the looting. She was beat on the head & sprayed in the face w/a fire extinguisher. pic.twitter.com/EpcAAF0HLY
One video shows a woman pulling items from the wheelchair-user's purse, while another runs up from behind to punch her repeatedly in the back of the head.
Response on social media was fervently divided; many were appalled at the abuse of an elderly disabled woman. However just as many claimed that the woman had armed herself with a knife and was stabbing people, and was neither elderly nor disabled.
Bystanders can be heard screaming "she's got a knife!" and "she's stabbing people!" in one of the videos; she appeared to be holding a short blade, and lunged at least one person with it right before getting doused by the fire extinguisher.
Another video shot from a distance purported to show her get out of the wheelchair to walk up to and argue with a group of people, before sitting back down. "She's 30" and "Gypsey Rose" even began to trend on Twitter.
The woman, named Jennifer, was interviewed by one witness.
"The looters who were looting Target... I was peacefully protesting and trying to block the way so that they couldn't leave with cartfuls of stuff," she whimpered, her eyes screwed shut.
"They attacked me from front and back... they punched me in my mouth, my head, I got punched in the head several times. I got grabbed from behind, people grabbed my wheelchair and they stole my keys. They stole everything they could off of me."
"I got maced in the face, I got covered in fire extinguisher stuff. I already seen the EMTs and they told me to go home."