December 2, 2021

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Video shows police in unmarked van hunting people down with rubber bullets

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In body-camera footage the nonprofit obtained, Bittell told a SWAT unit: “Alright, we’re rolling down Lake Street. The first f***ers we see, we’re just hammering ’em with 40s.” He meant 40-millimeter marking rounds, or rubber bullets.

Newly released surveillance video obtained by NBC affiliate KARE 11 shows police pulling up to the area Stallings was in. At the time, an unnamed pedestrian was shouting, “They’re shooting! They’re shooting,” the news station reported. Stallings was hit in the chest, and the sound of a rubber bullet being fired can be heard in the body-camera footage. Next, the louder bangs of an actual gun could be heard. They came from Stallings, who fired in between the moments he was ducked behind a parked car, taking cover.

Stallings’ attorney Eric Rice told KARE 11 he thought the “white supremacists” Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz had warned about earlier that day were shooting at him. “Who would expect if shots were immediately fired and one strikes you in the chest, who would expect that it was the police,” the attorney asked.

When the video footage shows officers getting out of the van, Stallings laid on the ground, remaining there several seconds before officers got close enough to kick and beat him. His face was fractured in the attack, KARE 11 reported. Bittell claimed Stallings was resisting when officers approached him.

Garrett Parten, a spokesman for the Minneapolis Police Department, told the Star Tribune an internal affairs investigation us underway.

The newspaper recounted disturbing comments officers made in body-camera video footage, including the remarks of Lt. Johnny Mercil, who oversees use-of-force training for officers:

“Footage from officer Michael Osbeck’s body camera shows him speaking with Lt. Johnny Mercil, who said “[Expletive] these media,” and mockingly said, “Hold on a second, let me check your credentials, make a few phone calls to verify …”

“They think they can do whatever they want,” Osbeck said.

“There’s a [expletive] curfew,” Mercil said.

The Star Tribune also listed an exchange captured on officer Joseph Adams’ body camera that shows him saying it was a “busy night” to Cmdr. Bruce Folkens. The commander responded: “Tonight it was just nice to hear ‘We’re gonna find some more people instead of chasing people around … you guys are out hunting people now, it’s just a nice change of tempo …[Expletive] these people.”



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