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White supremacist who shot Minneapolis protesters makes court appearance

By Jess Sundin |
March 16, 2016
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A screen shot of the video the racists took of themselves
A screen shot of the video the racists took of themselves on their way to the Fourth Precinct shooting. Scarsella is on the left (in keffiyeh).
Supporters of Jamar Clark who attended the March 15 hearing today
Supporters of Jamar Clark who attended the March 15 hearing today

Minneapolis, MN - Allen “Lance” Scarsella appeared in court here, March 15, charged with first degree assault, second degree riot, and five counts of second degree assault with a firearm resulting in substantial bodily harm, for his part in the November shooting of five people protesting the police killing of Jamar Clark. Scarsella faces a maximum sentence of 55 years.

Scarsella, wearing handcuffs and an orange jumpsuit from the county jail, was escorted into the courtroom by two deputies. He appeared to have no friends or family in the court room, as the seats were filled with a dozen people who had come to support the young men he’d fired on.

The prosecutor was the first to address the court, expressing support for a defense motion to delay the proceedings to allow them more time to review the mountain of evidence. Judge Hilary Caligiuri granted the request, setting the next court appearance for June 13.

The shooting took place after Scarsella and the others had repeatedly visited the encampment outside the Fourth Precinct Police Station, hurling racist comments and other verbal harassment at protesters. In addition to being caught on tape by protesters, the white supremacists made and posted online their own videos of these encounters, along with threats to return.

As the defense asks for more time to sift through this and other evidence, the community questions the failure of the prosecution to use that evidence to bring heavier charges against what are clearly premeditated and violent hate crimes.

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