4 Men Charged In The Shooting Of Black Lives Matter Protesters

CREDIT: Associated Press/Jim Mone

Allen Lawrence Scarsella, one of the four men who allegedly gunned down Minneapolis protesters last week, has been charged with five counts of assault with a dangerous weapon and one count of rioting while armed. The 23-year-old stands accused of shooting and injuring five Black Lives Matter supporters on November 23. Authorities have also charged Nathan Wayne Gustavsson, Joseph Martin Backman, and Daniel Thomas Macey with riot counts.

The victims were camped out near the Fourth Precinct to protest the police shooting of 24-year-old Jamar Clark. According to demonstrators, four masked men arrived at the scene and started filming them. Before they opened fire, the shooters refused to take off their masks or leave the protest.

Demonstrators immediately described the perpetrators as white supremacists. The shooters, who were dressed in masks and military camoflage, fit the description of supremacists who protesters were warned about before the incident took place. The shooters are said to have yelled “race war” and “Trump 2016.” And prior to the shooting, one white demonstrator identified the men as extremists.

Despite the attack, community members have remained at the encampment to demand justice for Clark, who was shot in the head. Hundreds of protesters have taken to the streets following his death.

On Monday, Mayor Betsy Hodges asked protesters to leave the encampment on the grounds that officers have been threatened and campfires are hurting air quality.

The Minneapolis Police Department maintains an officer fired his gun during a physical altercation with Clark. The department also claims Clark was not handcuffed at the time, although witnesses say otherwise. Protesters have called for the release of video footage of the deadly encounter, but local and federal investigators have declined to do so.