MINNEAPOLIS (KMSP) - The fate of one of the man accused of shooting into a group of protestors outside the Minneapolis Police Department Fourth Precinct will soon be in the hands of a jury.
The shooting took place in November 2015 outside the Minneapolis Fourth Precinct headquarters. Protestors, angry over the officer-involved shooting of Jamar Clark, had gathered there, occupying the city block for days.
According to authorities, several apparent counter-protesters showed up, including then 23-year-old Allen “Lance” Scarsella. Witnesses have said there was some kind of confrontation and Scarsella, who is white, opened fire.
Five African-American men were struck and injured, including Wesley Martin, whom Fox 9 interviewed shortly after the incident.
Scarsella’s legal team contends it was a matter of self-defense, arguing that the 24-year-old and several associates, who are charged separately, were being chased and feared for their safety.
But, prosecutors counter that Scarsella and the others went to the protest looking to create trouble, pointing to the fact that Scarsella arrived armed, wearing a mask and had previously created a video where he made racially charged statements and threatened violence at the protest site.
Scarsella is charged with multiple counts including first degree assault, but no hate crime.
A jury was seated Tuesday in Hennepin County, with no African-American jurors. Both sides gave their opening statements on Tuesday, but no witnesses were called.
Court will resume on Wednesday at 9 a.m.