MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A jury will soon decide the case of Allen “Lance” Scarsella, the man accused of shooting five Black Lives Matter protesters in Minneapolis back in November 2015.
The trial started about two weeks ago, and the jury of nine men and three women will soon decide if they believe Scarsella acted in self-defense. There are no African-Americans on the jury.
The shooting happened during the weeks-long occupation of Minneapolis’ 4th Precinct police station following the police shooting death of Jamar Clark.
The prosecutor closed her argument Tuesday by recapping much of what the jurors have already seen throughout the trial, including videos of Scarsella and the racially-charged text messages he admitted to sending in the months leading up to the shooting.
The prosecutor said Scarsella and his friends went to the protest to cause trouble and that he had “an obsession with shooting black people” as well as “a deep core of racial hatred.”
In the closing arguments for the defense, the attorney said nothing should matter in the jury’s decision outside of the night of the shooting and the events directly leading up to the shooting.
The defense argued that an angry crowd kept punching and pursuing Scarsella and his friend and that Scarsella shot several times because he feared for his life.
The jury is slated to start deliberating Wednesday morning.
Scarsella faces seven felony charges, including rioting with a dangerous weapon and assault with a dangerous weapon.