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'White Supremacist' Arrested in Shooting of Black Lives Matter Activists Who Were Protesting Fatal Cop Shooting

Allen ‘Lance’ Scarsella: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

Lance Scarsella, Allen Lance Scarsella, Black Lives Matter shooting suspects, Lance scarsella

Allen “Lance” Scarsella is being held without bail. (Facebook)

Three men are in police custody after five Black Lives Matter activists were shot Monday night near protests over the shooting death of Jamar Clark, Minneapolis police say.

Allen “Lance” Scarsella, 23, is currently being held without bail at Hennepin County jail on an assault charge, KSTP’s Steve Tellier confirmed. Two other suspects, Nathan Gustavsson, 21, and Daniel Macey, 26, are also in custody, the Star-Tribune reports. All three suspects are white.

A fourth person, a 32-year-old Hispanic man who goes by the name “Saiga Marine” online, was brought in for questioning Tuesday, but released after police determined he was not at the protests Monday night.

Protesters said they were trying to get a group of armed white men, some wearing masks, to leave the area of the demonstration Monday night. The men then opened fire on the protesters. The victims are expected to survive.

“A group of white supremacists showed up at the protest, as they have done most nights,” Miski Noor, a spokesperson for Black Lives Matter, told the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. Noor told the newspaper the protesters tried to get the group away from the area, and the men then “opened fire” on about six demonstrators. The shooting occurred in an alley about a block from the 4th Police Precinct, Noor said.

The shooting occurred at about 10:40 p.m. near the 4th Police Precinct in North Minneapolis, where activists have gathered for more than a week to protest over the death of 24-year-old Jamar Clark. The unarmed black man was shot on November 15 by a white police officer, and witnesses have claimed that he was handcuffed when he was shot. Police have denied those claims, but the shooting remains under investigation.

Here’s what you need to know:


1. Scarsella Was Arrested on Tuesday in Bloomington

Lance Scarsella

Lance Scarsella. (Facebook)

Lance Scarsella was taken into custody Tuesday in Bloomington, Minnesota, police said. A video shot by a neighbor shows a SWAT team calling for Scarsella to come out of a house with his hands up:

He was booked into the Hennepin County Jail on suspicion of assault at 6 p.m., and held without bail.

According to his Facebook page, Scarsella is originally from Lakeville, Minnesota, and now lives in Saint Paul. He was a student at the University of St. Thomas until last year.

Scarsella’s Facebook cover photo is the Bonnie Blue Flag, a flag associated with the Confederacy.

(Facebook)

(Facebook)

Scarsella was a high school wrestler at Lakeville North High School. He became an Eagle Scoutin 2009.

Macey and Gustavsson turned themselves in later Tuesday.

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Three men, including Nathan Gustavsson, 21, and Daniel Macey, 26, have been arrested in the shooting of five Black Lives Matter protesters in Minneapolis.

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2. Authorities Are Deciding Whether to Investigate the Shooting as a Hate Crime

minneapolis protests shooting

Police line up in front of a crime scene after 5 people were shot at a Black Lives Matters protest in Minneapolis. (Getty)

Sources told the Star-Tribune that authorities are still deciding whether to investigate the shooting as a hate crime.

Also, federal investigators could get involved.

“The Federal Bureau of Investigation is aware of the incident and is coordinating with the Minneapolis Police Department to assess the facts and determine if further federal action” is warranted, FBI spokesman Kyle Loven told the newspaper.

A video taken at the scene shows the moments before the shooting, as the trio of men are approached by activists. There is no audio in the video, which was provided to News Talk 1130, and appears to have been shot by one of the shooting suspects. Watch it below:

Shooting at Protests in Minneapolis: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

Minneapolis police and witnesses say five people were shot at protests over the death of Jamar Clark. Witnesses say "white supremacists" shot at the protesters.

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3. Police Were Aware of Threats Made Against the Protesters by Armed ‘White Supremacists’

According to City Pages, two men wearing camouflage with masks over their faces came to the protests last Friday night. Protesters said they felt threatened by the armed men.

“I don’t know if this is what [protesters] were planning, just standing here,” one of the white supremacists said, according to City Pages. “It’s almost as if they expect one of us to do something. They expect one of us to be in the wreckage of all this. It’s boiling. It’s going to be happening soon.

video posted by the two men (which can be watched above) was found online by Black Lives Matter Minneapolis.

The men in the video have not yet been connected to the three men in custody, but one of the men appears to have a mole above his eye that matches photos of Lance Scarsella:

Police said last week they were aware of the threat to protesters.

“The Minneapolis Police Department has received information that a group may attempt to cause a disturbance this evening in front of the Police Department’s 4th Precinct,” police spokesman Scott Seroka said in a statement. “We are asking gathered demonstrators to be vigilant and report any actions that may seem out of the ordinary. If anyone notices something suspicious, please contact a nearby officer or call 9-1-1. A physical description, clothing description, and/or vehicle description is helpful. Also, please report any ‘out of the ordinary’ actions you have observed.”

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4. Activists Have Been Critical of the Way Police Responded to the Shooting Monday Night

(Getty)

(Getty)

The demonstrators have criticized the police response to Monday night’s shooting on Twitter, saying officers staged outside of the scene for several minutes before coming to the aid of the gunshot victims. They also say officers maced protesters who were filming them.

Police radio audio recorded from a scanner can be heard here.

Police said in a statement, “Dozens of officers responded almost immediately attending to victims and secured the scene. Additional resources were called in and are actively investigating the shootings, interviewing a multitude of witnesses. The Police Department is working to identify suspects. The police are asking that anyone with information to please come forward. … The Minneapolis Police Department has additional uniformed officers in the area to ensure the safety of all persons.”

After the shooting, the brother of Jamar Clark, Eddie Sutton, issued a statement to the media:

Thank you to the community for the incredible support you have shown for our family in this difficult time. We appreciate Black Lives Matter for holding it down and keeping the protests peaceful. But in light of tonight’s shootings, the family feels out of imminent concern for the safety of the occupiers, we must get the occupation of the 4th precinct ended and onto the next step.

Activists with the Black Lives Matter movement have said on Twitter that they will not let the shooting scare them away from protesting the against the police.

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5. Two Police Officers Are Under Investigation in the Clark Shooting

Jamar Clark, #Justice4Jamar, #JamesandPlymouth, Jamar Clark minneapolis, minneapolis police shooting victim

Jamar Clark was shot by police in Minneapolis, Minnesota, sparking protests. (Kenya McKnight)

Jamar Clark, who was unarmed, was shot by in the head by a police officer on Sunday, November 15. He died the next night.

Police told the Minneapolis Star-Tribune Clark, 24, was suspected in an assault, and was interfering with emergency workers trying to provide aid to a victim. He was shot during a physical struggle, police said. The police union says Clark was shot after he tried to take a gun from one of the officers, KARE reports.

But witnesses say Clark was not resisting arrest and was laying on the ground when he was shot, according to the NAACP. Witnesses have also claimed that Clark was in handcuffs before he was shot. Police deny those claims.

Teto Wilson, a witness, was quoted by the NAACP as saying, Clark “was just laying there. He was not resisting arrest. Two officers were surrounding the victim on the ground, an officer maneuvered his body around to shield Jamar’s body, and I heard the shot go off.”

A family member says Clark was shot in the head “execution style,” the Star-Tribune reports.

Protesters have demanded the release of videos that show parts of the shooting, but authorities say they will not release the video until the investigation is concluded. Officials say the investigation could take months to be completed. They say the video is not conclusive, and does not show the whole incident.

The demonstrators, made up mostly of members of Black Lives Matter Minneapolis and the local NAACP, along with other community groups, have said they are willing to stay at the precinct as long as it takes to get justice and have their demands met.

Police said two officers, Mark Ringgenberg and Dustin Schwarze, have been placed on paid leave, KARE-TV reports.

The shooting is being investigated by the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, which is part of the state Department of Public Safety.

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