Tuesday, October 26, 2021

New Bodycam Video: Man Acquitted of Firing at Cops Who Shot Rubber Bullets from Unmarked Van (Watch)

Arrest of Jaleel K. Stallings
Arrest of Jaleel K. Stallings

*St. Paul, Minn. truck driver Jaleel K. Stallings, 29, fired three shots at a white cargo van with darkened windows after people in the vehicle fired at him and others who were protesting the death of George Floyd, which had taken place five days earlier.

Stallings, an Army veteran with a permit to carry, said that protesters were running from the van and warned him that people were shooting from the vehicle as it rolled slowly down Lake Street. Stallings said that after being hit by a rubber bullet himself, he used his gun to shoot the vehicle in an attempt to scare the attackers off.

What he didn’t know was that the van was an unmarked police vehicle full of SWAT officers authorized to enforce the city’s new 8 p.m. curfew, and that they were firing “less than lethal” bullets at random people who were still on the street.

Jaleel K. Stallings
Jaleel K. Stallings

Stallings faced two counts of attempted second-degree murder, two counts of first-degree assault, one count of second-degree assault and three other charges for firing at the unmarked police van. No officers were injured.

“If he had fired knowing that they were police, that’s a very different context than firing at unknown civilians in a white van,” said Eric Rice, Stallings’ attorney.

After a jury recently found Stallings not guilty on all charges, Rice pushed to get all the evidence in the case released to the public to show Stallings’ perspective and how officers handled the arrest.

“For the last year, Mr. Stallings was called a cop killer,” he said. “And I think if you look at the evidence, the story is more complex than that.”

The newly-released video also reveals that officers attacked Stallings before putting him in handcuffs. For nearly 30 seconds, two officers can be seen hitting and kicking him while he was face down on the ground. Stallings suffered multiple bruises, cuts and an eye socket fracture.

stallings
Jaleel K. Stallings’ mug shot after being beaten by police and arrested for shooting at officers who were firing rubber bullets (unbeknownst to him) from an unmarked van

The officers claimed in their reports that they had to assault him because he was resisting. But in a ruling earlier this year, a judge found that not to be the case, writing “the video evidence does not support (the officers’) testimony.”

Click through below to watch the newly-released body cam footage of the incident on YouTube, followed by surveillance footage of the officers swarming and beating Stallings as he lay on the ground:

The Hennepin County Attorney’s Office still decided to take the case to trial. In a statement, a spokesman said that “the jury has spoken, we accept their verdict, and the system worked.”

A spokesman from MPD confirmed that there is an open investigation with the Office of Police Conduct Review and declined to comment further.

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