Minneapolis police suggested ‘protesters wanted shootings,’ report says

28 Nov 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

5 shot at Minneapolis police protest.

About 100 people gathered outside the Fourth Precinct police station in north Minneapolis on Thursday to celebrate Thanksgiving with friends and family brought together in a time of turmoil.Police said late Wednesday that they arrested a fourth suspect after a group of white supremacists allegedly opened fire on Black Lives Matter protesters Monday night in Minneapolis.

Inside, his obituary said the 24-year-old man “liked to swim, fish, listen to music, play basketball, be with family and take trips to Charlotte, N.C”. As more facts emerge in the case, it’s now beginning to appear that not only was the attack a carefully planned attempt to disrupt the demonstration, but the men who participated in the shootings had been radicalized in the course of conversing on websites and in chatrooms where racist and other far-right extremist ideology flourishes. Mark Dayton on Saturday said he would urge federal prosecutors to investigate “any matters…that may have violated the civil rights of any Minnesota citizens”. The Minneapolis Police Department said in a news release that they had arrested Joseph Daniel Backman, 27, in connection with the shooting that left five protesters injured. Dozens of demonstrators huddled around bonfires early Sunday in frigid temperatures at an encampment outside a Minneapolis police station that they have said will not be dismantled until their demands are met.

The celebration, which protesters called “Blacksgiving,” saw demonstrators gathered around donated plates of turkey, pies, macaroni and cheese, tea, tents, and space heaters. At the Wednesday funeral, more than 300 people paid their respects and said goodbye to the man whose death has drawn attention from around the nation. Over the past year, protests against killings of unarmed black men and women – some videotaped with phones or police cameras – have rocked a number of US cities.

Henry Habu, who said he has been working security for protesters, said he and others approached four people who were standing under a “Justice4Jamar” sign to ask what they were doing there. Participants took time to pray for Clark and his family. “It’s really powerful to see community solidarity on Thanksgiving,” Minneapolis NAACP President Nekima Levy-Pounds told the Star Tribune. “We are going to persevere until we see change.” The protesters have promised to remain outside the city’s Fourth Precinct until authorities release video of the Clark shooting. A search warrant application showed that Scarsella called a Mankato, Minnesota police officer identified only as “Levin,” who was an old high school friend of his, at 1 a.m.

Clark was handcuffed at the time he was shot in the head by one of the two police officers. “We made sure that all the pies were thrown out, and actually other food was thrown out for fear of contamination”, she said. Scarsella told the officer that he went to the protests, sparked by the fatal police shooting of 24-year-old Jamar Clark, to livestream and then got into a confrontation with demonstrators, according to the newspaper.

Noor said the protesters tried to force the group to leave the area, and the men then “opened fire.” As Travis Gettys at Raw Story reports, the men — Allen Lawrence “Lance” Scarsella III, 23, of Bloomington; Nathan Gustavsson, 21, of Hermantown; and Daniel Macey, 26, of Pine City – originally connected through online conversations on Facebook and at such websites as 4chan. A fourth man who goes by the online name “Saiga Marine” was part of the same group, but police released the man after questioning Tuesday, saying he was not at the scene of the shooting Monday. The Star-Tribune also reported that Gustavsson and Macey were both are students in the gunsmithing and firearms technology program at Pine Technical and Community College. Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman told the Star-Tribune that an extenstion for prosecutors to file charges against the four men expires at noon Monday.

Scarsella’s Facebook page includes a photo of the “Bonnie Blue” version of the Confederate flag, which he captioned: “This isn’t the Somalian flag.” Among his “likes”are several gun groups associated with the extremist “III Percent” militia movement, as well as the “OAF Nation” (the acronym stands for “Operator As Fuck”) pro-militia group. Ten restaurant-style heat lamps lined the block in front of the precinct station on Plymouth Avenue N., and demonstrators also gathered around campfires that have been glowing all week. He describes his occupation as “Saving the Constitution.” According to Gettys, “Saiga Marine” is a well-known presence on 4chan’s weapons-discussion forum.

Minnesota NAACP leader Raeisha Williams accused the police of complicity in the shooting on CNN on Tuesday, claiming: “We believe the police department is facilitating the injustice, bullying the protesters. … And we also believe that they’re involved in this shooting. The state Bureau of Criminal Apprehension said it has video from the ambulance, a mobile police camera and other sources, but none shows the event in its entirety. “Any investigation, federal, state, or county into my officers’ conduct at the 4th Precinct during this time will only confirm the strength of the work my officers did protecting both public safety and the freedom of speech”.

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