Jury acquits man who fired at Minneapolis police during unrest, worried they were white supremacists

Jaleel Stallings said he didn't realize the people shooting at him were police officers until after he fired three shots. (Supplied)

A jury has acquitted a man charged with shooting towards police officers in an incident during the unrest that followed the death of George Floyd.

Jaleel Stallings said he acted in self-defense, returning fire after the police fire what turned out to be less-lethal munitions -- and before he realized the people shooting at him were police officers.

Stallings is considering a civil lawsuit against the city now that he was found not guilty. Body camera video obtained by FOX 9 on Wednesday shows the altercation that begins as police roll up to a parking lot along Lake Street.

"Group in the parking lot to the north," one officer says on the footage, identifying the group Stallings was with.

On what was the fifth day of unrest following George Floyd being killed -- and the first night that Governor Tim Walz announced he was taking over -- we see and hear the start of an encounter with Minneapolis SWAT officers and then-27-year-old Jaleel Stallings.

Video shows police firing 40mm rubber marking pellets followed quickly by Stallings firing from his handgun. Just prior to this, Stallings attorney says more body camera footage shows a Minneapolis sergeant suggesting being more "proactive and finding civilians instead of chasing our tail" in the hours after the 8 p.m. curfew.

Another sergeant is quoted as saying, "Drive down Lake Street and you see a f---ing group, call it out... Gas 'em, f--- 'em up."

Stallings attorney maintains after being hit in the chest and the door of his pick-up with green police markings, as a trained shooter with the military, he responded with three shots from his handgun. Stallings insists he did not want to hit or injure the occupants and shot low.

Then upon realizing the occupants in the unmarked car were police officers, Stallings dropped his handgun and laid it on the ground.

Stallings argues his actions were self-defense, in part because he was aware of credible reports of white supremacists being in the area seeking to cause harm to civilians. Meanwhile, the original complaint from prosecutors indicates officers also feared for their lives.

Stalllings' mugshot later shows several injuries to his face following his arrest. Days later, Stallings case received attention when he was bailed out by the Minnesota Freedom Fund then, more recently, when a jury found Stallings not guilty on all eight charges against him ranging from riots to attempted murder.

The mugshot following Jaleel Stallings arrest shows injuries to his face. (Supplied)

In a statement on Wednesday, Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo says, in part, that part of the judge's decision noted context is important, and that the officers had just been through four days of rioting, looting, arson, and the burning of the third precinct. Peaceful protests sometimes quickly escalated to violence."

The chief adds that he respects the judicial process and the internal investigation process and right now, an internal investigation is underway.