Skip to main content
Updated:
Original:

County attorney: Suspects in attack on protesters are 'sick people'

"There is no doubt that the attack by the four was racially motivated," Freeman said.
Author:

The Hennepin County Attorney is referring to the men accused of shooting #Justice4Jamar protesters as "sick people," and said he considers the attack racially motivated.

In a strongly-worded statement sent out Friday, Mike Freeman refers to Allen Scarsella as a "white supremacist," and confirmed a new charge of first-degree assault was going to be filed against him.

"There is no doubt that the attack by the four was racially motivated," Freeman said. "The defendants' own statements, their videos, show that these are sick people. Maybe I shouldn’t say that, but the language they use, and what they say about fellow Americans, citizens, are just not acceptable."

The charges

Scarsella, 23, of Lakeville, is accused of shooting five people near the Minneapolis Police Department's Fourth Precinct on Nov. 23, during a protest against the fatal shooting of Jamar Clark by police.

Three other men said to have been with him at the time – Joseph Martin Backman, 27, of Eagan, Nathan Wayne Gustavsson, 22, of Hermantown and Daniel Thomas Macey, 26, of Pine City – have each been charged with one count of second-degree riot-armed with a dangerous weapon.

Scarsella was initially charged with second-degree assault, but this was replaced with first-degree after it emerged one of the victims, 19-year-old Tevin King, has a bullet in his abdomen that is so close to major arteries that it can't be removed, the county attorney said.

The criminal complaint notes a video uploaded to YouTube appears to feature Scarsella and another man on their way to the protest a few days before the shooting on Nov. 19, in which they make racist comments. The video ends with one of them saying, "Stay white."

Investigators also found an email string on the 4Chan website in which the participants discussed going to the protest to "stir things up" and "cause commotion."

There had been calls for the attackers to be charged with hate crimes, but Freeman said they decided against doing that as it would carry lighter sentences than the ones with which they've been charged.

Next Up

Screen Shot 2021-11-20 at 8.00.04 AM

4 children missing from home in Twin Cities are found safe

Police are seeking help finding the four siblings.

Robert Dale Veldkamp and Derek Jon Haehnel, state trooper

2 state troopers die of cancer within two days of each other

Rob Veldkamp and Derek Haehnel were 49 and 36, respectively.

Jamal Smith

Accused Hwy 169 shooter loses phone privileges over alleged witness tampering

Jamal Smith is charged with fatally shooting a youth coach this past July.

pixabay - covid vaccine record card

COVID-19 booster shots now available to all Minnesota adults

Gov. Tim Walz's announcement qualifies around 1.7 million people in Minnesota for a booster shot.

Willians Astudillo

Twins release Astudillo, add Lewis, Miranda to 40-man roster

The Twins also signed Jake Cave to a one-year deal.

bentleyville lights duluth 2020 - Kristian's Photos Flickr

Welcome back, Bentleyville: Beloved Tour of Lights returns

The Duluth event is back to being a walkthrough show this year.

Lake COuntry Power linemen photo - 11.17.21

Woman rescued from icy water by men who spotted overturned car

Her car hit a slick spot, went off the road, and flipped — landing in 4 feet of water.

Screen Shot 2020-08-01 at 9.18.10 AM

Felon gets 14.5 years in prison following road rage incident

Authorities found drugs and weapons in his truck following the crash.

kilen woods state park - flickr - tony webster

Take a hike! Free admission to MN State Parks on Black Friday

The annual promotion returns for the seventh year in a row.

Related

2 suspects face jail time and probation for role in 4th Precinct protest shooting

Five people were injured in the shooting, which happened during demonstrations following Jamar Clark's death.

Police officer quits job after testifying in trial of man charged in protest shooting

Brett Levin testified this week in the trial of Allen Scarsella, who is accused of shooting people at a Jamar Clark protest.

The Jamar Clark case: A look at what no grand jury means and what happens next

His reason: Grand juries just aren't that transparent and there's lack of accountability.

Pipeline protests: Officials shoot drone that attacked a helicopter

People on board the helicopter say they were "in fear of their lives."