The attorney for a man found not guilty on all charges of shooting at Minneapolis police officers during the unrest that followed George Floyd's killing last year has released evidence in connection with the incident, including body camera footage that shows he returned fire at police in self-defense before he surrendered and was assaulted by officers while on the ground.
Following a trial in July, a Hennepin County jury acquitted Jaleel K. Stallings, 29, of eight counts, including second-degree attempted murder, first-degree assault, second-degree assault and second-degree riot regarding the May 30, 2020, incident, five days after Floyd's death.
According to charges, police in an unmarked van patrolling the area of 15th Avenue S. and Lake Street fired 40-millimeter marking rounds — commonly known as rubber bullets — at Stallings, and he returned fire with a handgun before his arrest.
Stallings' acquittal was first reported by the Minnesota Reformer, which was also the first outlet to publish body camera footage of the incident before his attorney, Eric Rice, more extensively released it. The footage shows police riding down the street in a van firing the marking rounds without warning at bystanders or yelling "go home!"
The footage then shows them encounter Stallings, who had a permit to carry a firearm in public, and did so because of the threat of white supremacists in the area, crouched behind his pickup in a parking lot near S. 14th Avenue. At 10:53 p.m. an officer fired a single marking round at Stallings, striking him in the chest. Stallings, who according to his attorney did not realize the unmarked van was full of police officers, returned fire three times as he ducked for cover.
"Once in cover, Mr. Stallings learned that the occupants of the van were law enforcement officers, and Mr. Stallings immediately surrendered," Rice said in a statement. Nearby surveillance footage shows Stallings immediately go to the ground. Officer Justin Stetson and Sgt. Andrew Bittell punched and kicked Stallings, who did not resist, as he said, "Listen, listen, sir!" before he is pulled to a sitting position, bloodied and dazed.
Stallings rejected a plea deal from prosecutors that included a nearly 13-year prison term before he took the case to trial and was acquitted.
Police spokesman officer Garrett Parten said Tuesday that an internal affairs investigation is underway and declined to comment further. Other body camera footage released by Rice from that night includes:
• Footage from Stetson's body camera shows him repeatedly firing marking rounds at protesters before yelling "Gotcha!" while officer Kristopher Dauble laughs and the two fist-bump.
• 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.
While observing a group and debating whether to make an arrest, Mercil said, "This group probably is predominantly white because there's not looting and fires."
Mercil, who oversees MPD's use of force training, was a prosecution witness in the trial of ex-officer Derek Chauvin, who was convicted of murdering Floyd on May 25, 2020.
• Footage from officer Joseph Adams' body camera shows him commenting that it was a "busy night" to Cmdr. Bruce Folkens, who said, "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."