Prosecutors in Minnesota have brought forth charges against four men connected to the shooting last week at a Black Lives Matter protest that left five injured. The men face a variety of charges but have yet to be charged with hate crimes.
NPR reports that Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman named the men at a news conference on Monday. The shooter, 23-year-old Allen Lawrence Scarsella, faced five counts of second-degree assault with a dangerous weapon and one count of second-degree riot.
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Three other men — Joseph Martin Backman, 27; Nathan Wayne Gustavsson, 21; and Daniel Thomas Macey, 26 — were each charged with second-degree riot with a dangerous weapon, Freeman said. Scarsella, Backman and Gustavsson are white, and Macey is Asian. The men have not been charged with hate crimes.
Freeman said his office charged the men with what the evidence supported, and that charging them with hate crimes would not add “one iota of time” to their possible sentences. But, he said: “The feds have got some different statutes. … My review of this file, including the video and the statements, it certainly has components of [a hate crime.]”
The incident took place Nov. 23 outside a police precinct where people had gathered for a Black Lives Matter protest over the police shooting of 24-year-old Jamar Clark.
An initial suspect, a Hispanic man, was taken into custody last week but later release after a connection couldn’t be established.
SOURCE: NPR | VIDEO CREDIT: CBS News Minnesota