A police officer who testified this week about exchanges with a man accused of shooting five people during a protest no longer works for the department.
Officer Brett Levin is no longer with the Burnsville Police Department as of Jan. 26, a statement sent by Cpt. Tanya Schwartz says.
"Our department has very high standards regarding the conduct and professionalism of our officers, and we are proud of our relationship with all of our diverse community members," the statement says.
This comes after Levin testified this week during the trial of Allen Scarsella – the 24-year-old charged with shooting five people at a protest outside the Minneapolis Police Department's Fourth Precinct following the Jamar Clark shooting.
Levin said he knew Scarsella from high school, and after the shootings spoke with Scarsella, encouraging him to turn himself in. He also admitted he had gotten "racially charged" texts, often negative, about black people from Scarsella, and sometimes replied in a similar manner – but didn't offer details, only described it as "locker room talk."
Levin was with the Mankato Department of Public Safety at the time of the shootings, according to KEYC.
Scarsella has pleaded not guilty, The Associated Press says.
He was initially charged with second-degree assault, but it 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 Hennepin County Attorney's Office said.
You can read more about the charges in this earlier story.