This afternoon, prosecutors announced felony charges against the four defendants in last week’s shooting at a Black Lives Matter protest in Minneapolis. A criminal complaint for one of the alleged shooters reveals that he is exactly the pants-wetting idiot one would expect.
According to the complaint against Allen “Lance” Scarsella, above right, his phone contained racist images and “many photos of himself with guns” when police searched it after his arrest last week. Scarsella is accused, along with Nathan Gustavsson, Daniel Macey, Joseph Backman, in connection with the shooting of five people at the scene of protests against the police killing of Jamar Clark in Minneapolis on the evening of November 23. The victims, all black men, were hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries.
Scarsella will be charged with five counts of second-degree assault with a dangerous weapon and one count of second-degree riot while armed, and the other three men will receive only the riot charge, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports.
Much of the evidence suggests that the shooting was racially motivated. In a video from earlier in the week, a man who was questioned and released regarding the incident can be seen brandishing a gun, saying “stay white,” and referring to black people as “dindus” while driving to the scene of ongoing protests. The complaint against Scarsella alleges that he is the second masked man in that video—a claim that Gawker and others also floated after the shooting.
The alleged shooters talked a big game before going out on the evening of the 23rd, according to the complaint against Scarsella. “I know how to make big news or get them to disperse,” Nathan Gustavsson, above left, allegedly texted his fellow defendant Scarsella. “I have an idea to really stir shit up.”
However, it seems just as likely that whoever pulled the trigger did so out of racist fear at being confronted by a real-live black person, not some sinister plot. After the shooting, Scarsella allegedly confessed to an officer with the Mankato, Minn., police department with whom he was friendly, who urged him to turn himself in to Minneapolis cops. On the phone, that officer said, Scarsella was “very frightened.” The Mankato officer also told Minneapolis police that Scarsella was a “pro Constitution” “sovereign citizen” who had negative opinions about African-Americans.
Scarsella and the other man in the video were apparently regular posters on /k/, 4chan’s message board for firearms enthusiasts, where they posted under the aliases Black Powder Ranger and SaigaMarine, respectively. Users on 4chan are reacting to the news of Scarsella’s arrest with their usual thoughtfulness and racial sensitivity.