Granthshala reviewed more than two hours of video excerpted from multiple police body cameras released on Tuesday by a lawyer who was recently acquitted of gunshots at officers after firing non-lethal shots on May 30 had gone.
May 30 was perhaps the most forceful response by Granthshala employees to the protests seen on the ground up to that point in the week. This happened five days after buildings burned for several nights and killed George Floyd. The curfew was imposed across the city from 8 pm that evening.
In a video, timestamped around 1 a.m. on May 31, 2020, then (he’s retired) Minneapolis Police Commander Bruce Falkens is heard saying during a debrief to an officer, ” It’s nice to hear tonight, ‘We’re going to find a few more guys instead of chasing people around.’” He continued, “You guys are hunting people now, and that’s a good bit of speed. There is change.”
The officer agreed, to which Fokens replied, “f**k these guys.”
At about 10:40 on May 30, Minneapolis Police Sergeant Andrew Bittel is heard saying, “We’re rolling down Lake St. First f**kers we see, we’re handling them with only 40, Referring to the apparently 40 mm non-lethal round that some Minneapolis police officers use to control crowds or during civil disobedience.
Five minutes later, they speed to a gas station, “Go, go, go, get up there!”
“It’s them, boys,” said Sergeant Bittel.
As they begin firing on the group, the group disintegrates, and the officers later learn that the group consists of the gas station owner and his family and friends who were there to defend the station.
At a different location after 10 p.m. on May 30, 2020, Lieutenant Johnny Mersil approached Officer Michael Ausbeck and said, “F**k these media.”
He jokingly said, “Wait a second, let me check your credentials, just make a few phone calls to verify.”
Mersil told the officer that it was time to start putting people in jail instead of scattering them. He also said it would “prove the mayor wrong about this ‘out-of-state white supremacist.” Although this group is probably predominantly white, because there is no looting and fire,” he said.
Mercill oversees MPD’s use of force training and was a prosecution witness in the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, who was convicted of the May 25, 2020 murder of Floyd.
Officers are identified by a state court order in line with body camera video.
The footage was released Tuesday by attorney Eric Rice, representing a man named Jaleel Stallings, who has recently been acquitted of eight counts tied to May 2020, including second-degree murder, first-degree murder, and first-degree murder. Assault, second-degree assault and second-degree riot.
Stallings was acquitted by a jury after the July trial.
“The evidence contradicts reports made by law enforcement officers, as well as common assumptions about how law enforcement and the criminal justice system should operate,” Rice told Granthshala. “I am pleased that the public can review the evidence for themselves and compare it to statements made by relevant authorities and prosecutors. Through transparency, I hope that our law enforcement and criminal justice systems are improved. May go.”
Some of the footage released showed part of the stalling incident. According to his lawyer, Rice, Stallings said he was “aware of the credible threats from white supremacists and other civilians harmed that evening,” and so he placed a gun in the back seat of his truck. A man later ran from near the parking lot with Stalling and his group shouting, “They’re shooting, they’re shooting!” Stallings didn’t know, “The man was running away from shots coming from an unmarked van from (Minneapolis Police) Unit 1281 a block away,” Rice said.
Stalling then went on to hide behind his truck, at which point he had pulled out his gun from the truck while the other members of his group went to get into their cars. As Stallings attempted to approach the driver’s side door, an officer fired a 40 mm non-lethal round in Stallings’ direction, according to Rice.
On the night of May 30, body camera footage of Sergeant Bittel shows nonlethal rounds and subsequent gunshots.
“Mr. Stallings thought he had been hit by a bullet and was bleeding. At the time, Mr. Stallings did not know and had no reason to believe that there were law enforcement officers in the van,” said his lawyer. According to Rice. “Mr. Stallings stopped going toward the door of his truck and shifted his weight backwards to cover the back of his truck. Mr. Stallings raised his shotgun to quell the fire toward the van so he was in cover. to obstruct further shots while oncoming.”
“Mr. Stallings fired toward the ground in front of the van to interrupt the attack. Mr. Stallings testified that he fired in a controlled manner to reduce the risk of harm or death to the occupants of the van at that location. Shots fired. Mr. Stallings testified. Stalling wanted to show force to disrupt further attack and force the van to flee the area,” according to Rice.
According to the initial criminal complaint, Stallings “bent down as if to pick something up. Officers were concerned that another rock or piece of debris was being thrown at him and a 40-mm round was deployed at Stallings. Almost immediately.” , Officer A saw three to four gunshot muzzle flashes from Stalling’s chest toward law enforcement. A round sparked and ricocheted in front of officers. Officer A believed the officer in front of him was struck S. Stallings then ran and hid behind the truck. Officers then exited the van and went to locate Stallings. Officers exited and approached the truck from both sides. Officers termed this as a lethal force situation. Believed because they believed that the Stallings were still armed and could kill them.”
Granthshala has contacted the Minneapolis Police Department for comment on the body camera video released Tuesday, as well as with respect to specific law enforcement designated with the Minneapolis Police Federation, but has received no response.
Credit : www.cnn.com