The Henco Attorney’s office hit the noon deadline on Monday to charge the suspects in last week’s shooting at the Black Lives Matter rally.

And the charges are interesting:

Allen Lawrence Scarsella, 23, of Lakeville, was charged with six counts including second-degree riot and second-degree assault. Joseph Martin Backman, 27, of Eagan, Nathan Wayne Gustavsson, 22, of Hermantown and Daniel Thomas Macey, 26, of Pine City were each charged with one count of second-degree riot-armed with a dangerous weapon.

Bear in mind that Macey was one of those rare Asian white supremacists.

Quite the melting-pot we have, here.

Anyway – as the media begins the process of trying this case in public, some people are going to be disappointed right out of the gate:

Freeman said the Minnesota hate crime law only moves a misdemeanor crime to a gross misdemeanor and a gross misdemeanor to a felony. The four men were not charged with that because the sentences for them, especially the suspected shooter, Scarsella, would be significantly longer for the riot and second-degree assault charges. However, Freeman noted he has been consulting with U.S. Attorney Andy Luger about this case and if federal hate crime sentences would draw a longer sentence, he would be willing to turn the case over to them.
There is no doubt, he said, that this attack by the four was racially motivated.
“The defendants’ own statements, their videos, show that these are sick people,” Freeman said. “Maybe I shouldn’t say that, but the language they use, and what they say about fellow Americans, citizens, are just not acceptable.”

Unlike every media outlet in the Metro, I’m not going to attempt to try this case on this page.  As we discussed the other day, there’s at least a chance that this could be tried as self-defense – although as I pointed out at the time, if one plans to try to plead self-defense, it’s best to go to the police, rather than having them come and get you first.

9 thoughts on “Charges

  1. I saw a video, without sound, that appeared to be from the perspective of one of the four. Not knowing what vocal exchanges were made colors one’s perceptions, but from what I saw, the four were on one side of the street, the protesters crossed over to their side and became agitated. Without sound, I would have to say the protesters were the aggressors.

    Subsequently I saw another video of two protesters who claimed to have been there, that punches were thrown by the protesters and that a group of the protesters chased the four. The two in the video, by their own words, did not participate in the chasing, because they thought the four were armed.

    That’s all the evidence I have seen for myself, and I don’t know the veracity of any of it. But if it were accurate, a plausible self defense argument could be made.

  2. “Maybe I shouldn’t say that, but the language they use, and what they say about fellow Americans, citizens, are just not acceptable.”

    Was Freeman talking about defendants or the mob? If he has audio, I wonder how civil was the “other” side. Or was the microphone set to only accept soundwaves from the defendants and we will never get to hear it?

  3. Holding opinions that are “not acceptable” is no longer constitutionally protected free speech but has become the justification for filing criminal charges? I’d better stay out of Hennepin County.

  4. “Asian White Supremacist” sounds like a Dave Chapelle skit staring “That Asian Guy from the Hangover” or the next K-Pop import from the Gagnam Style Guy.

  5. I don’t like these guys and am uncomfortable defending them, but… Joe D says…they are being charged partially due to being politically incorrect in leftwing Minneapolis. If they have a halfway decent lawyer, he should be able to show that taunting (assuming they were doing that in the crowd) does not justify assault on the part of the BLM crowd. That these guys had a reasonable fear for their lives.

  6. I can see unlawful possession of a deadly weapon, but riot? Huh?

    Sounds like Mr. (?) Freeman may have just sabotaged his case with that statement, too.

  7. The Asian guy and the shooter were in gun smithing school. I’m guessing they had CWP’s.

  8. Freeman is in a lose/lose situation. The key to this case will be in getting the venue changed.

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