More body camera videos released by the attorney for Jaleel Stallings show Minneapolis police officers talking about "hunting" people on the streets during the civil unrest following George Floyd's murder by Derek Chauvin in 2020.
The 29-year-old Stallings had been charged with eight felonies after authorities said he'd fired multiple shots at several SWAT officers who were patrolling East Lake Street in Minneapolis during the Floyd-related unrest. But this summer, a jury acquitted the St. Paul man on all counts and the officers involved in the incident have been facing additional scrutiny, after evidence presented at the trial directly contradicted their official accounts as laid out in the criminal complaint.
Since then, Stallings' attorney Eric Rice has been releasing body camera footage from that night to "rebut false and misleading statements issued by various parties, as well as provide transparency about the evidence used to support charges against Mr. Stallings."
The most recent round of videos, released Tuesday, show how Minneapolis police officers became more militaristic as they tried to shut down protests five days after Floyd was killed. Officers took a more aggressive approach with protesters, making comments about "hunting" them, and mocked journalists and Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey.
No Minneapolis Police Department officer has been formally disciplined for their actions during the May 2020 riots as of this day, though one female officer was disciplined for speaking to a reporter anonymously.
Officer Stetson's body camera footage shows an officer yelling "F*** you!" at protesters before they launch a barrage of "less-lethal" rubber bullets at them. The footage shows police, who were patrolling in an unmarked van, using less-lethal rounds on protesters, even as they turned their backs to flee from police.
And when Stetson hit a person who was a good distance away, he yelled, "Gotcha!" Another officer laughed and gave him a fist bump, while others congratulated him for hitting the person.
Here's that video:
Officer Osbeck's body camera video showed Lt. Mercil saying "F*** these media," and made disparaging comments and mocked journalists who were covering the protests, with Osbeck agreeing.
Mercil could also be heard saying arresting people would prove Mayor Frey wrong about his comments about white supremacists from out of state causing violence and damage during the protests. He added the group of civilians nearby were probably "predominantly white" because "there's not looting and fires." Osbeck agreed, saying people he'd encountered were from Minneapolis and were white.
Here's Osbeck's video:
Sgt. Andrew Bittell's body camera video shows officers puncturing tires on vehicles, explaining that you need to puncture two tires because people will just change the flat tire if there's only one.
Throughout the nearly two-hour video, officers can be heard describing the less-lethal rounds as "very effective" and made comments about hunting people.
When the SWAT team was in the area of Blaisdell Avenue and Lake Street, Bittell told officers to wait as a group of protesters approached to draw them in so they could be shot with 40mm rounds of "less-lethal" rubber bullets.
An officer told Bittell the people were "Pusses" because "You get within 30 feet of them and they run." Bittell responded, "You got to hit 'em with the 40s."
At one point in the video, an MPD officer said the plan in the lead up to the Stallings incident was: "Drive down Lake Street, and you see a f******* group, call it out. OK great. F*** ’em up, gas ’em, f*** ’em up."
Here's that video:
Officer Adams' body cam video shows a conversation with Commander Bruce Folkens after Stallings' arrest. Folkens said "it's nice to hear" that "instead of chasing people around ... you guys are hunting people now," later saying "F*** these people." Here's that video:
The materials were all provided to the court during pretrial and trial proceedings, Rice's office said. The videos are being shared now because the Hennepin County Attorney's Office said it would lift restrictions on their release.
MPD Chief Medaria Arradondo, when previously asked by KARE 11 to explain the officers' actions, said that they should be seen in the context of the civil unrest that followed Floyd's murder by an MPD officer, noting that officers "had just been through four days of rioting, looting, arson and the burning of the Third Precinct."
An outside group has been brought in to investigate MPD's actions, though the Reformer reported on Wednesday that 7 out of the 8 investigators are law enforcement veterans.