The tragedy of the riots sparked by George Floyd’s death was brought home by a distraught elderly black woman interviewed by the local ABC affiliate in her ruined south Minneapolis neighborhood.

“These people did this for no reason,” wept Stephanie Wilford, who lives in an apartment next to where shops were looted and burned Friday night. “They went straight to . . . every store over here that I go to. I have nowhere to go now and I have no way to get there because the buses aren’t running.”

The violence “is not going to bring George back. George is in a better place than we are. I’m going to be honest, I wish I was where George was.”

But liberal agitators don’t care about Stephanie and the poor urban communities that have been destroyed in the four-day orgy of self-congratulatory violence they sanctioned.

They are too busy dreaming up fantasy scapegoats.

Videos abound on social media of shadowy figures, dressed in black, systematically smashing store windows, but not looting, cutting through fences outside police stations, but not pushing the fences over; softening defenses for the rioters.

These are the domestic terrorists who have hijacked peaceful protests across the country. Attorney General Bill Barr described them in his Saturday press conference as “outside radicals and agitators [who] are exploiting the situation to pursue their own separate and violent agenda.

“In many places, it appears the violence is planned, organized, and driven by anarchistic and far-left extremists, using Antifa-like tactics.”

This is why Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison pretends that the external agitators in Minneapolis’ riots were Trump-voting “white supremacists,” because the former DNC deputy chairman is one of those in his party who has normalized Antifa as a useful part of the political process.

See his twitter feed of January 2018, when he posed for a selfie at a bookstore holding “Antifa: The Anti-Fascist Handbook” and wrote: “I just found the book that strikes fear in the heart of @realDonaldTrump.”

No wonder he and the rest of Minnesota’s Democratic leadership are trying to offload blame for their persistent policing failures.

Invariably, it is cities run by soft-on-crime Democrats where police forces betray the people they are supposed to protect.

The Minneapolis police force is the creature of a city that has had Democratic mayors for almost 50 years.

As former Mayor Rudy Giuliani told Fox News over the weekend, “Don’t elect progressive Democrats if you want to be safe.”

All you need to know about Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey is that he made the decision for police to evacuate the Third Precinct station, allowing it to be overrun by rioters and burned to the ground.

For four nights, criminals ransacked his city and terrorized its residents while the police were nowhere to be seen.

Instead of nipping the violence in the bud, Frey set a terrible precedent, allowing the contagion to spread across the country.

“Brick and mortar is not as important as life,” he blithely told a press conference Thursday night as the city burned.

It’s just property, say liberals who have never known a life without plenty. But the property they dismiss so easily can be a life’s work, like the sports bar in Minneapolis into which Korboi Balla, a black firefighter, had poured his life savings. It was destroyed a few days before he was due to open this week.

Stores and businesses are a community’s lifeblood, and many will never come back, causing more misery for the most vulnerable.

In any case, the policing vacuum also unleashed terrible violence.

There are videos all over social media of mobs chasing defenseless people, knocking them unconscious and kicking them in the head as they lie on the ground. Looters punched a store owner in the head and beat her with planks of wood in front of her husband. A man reportedly trying to protect his store with a sword was beaten senseless.