ST. CLOUD, Minn. (AP) — Prosecutors charged an 18-year-old man Wednesday with shooting and wounding a St. Cloud police officer who was trying to arrest him — a shooting that sparked unrest after rumors surfaced that police had shot two black men.
The Stearns County Attorney’s Office charged Sumaree Boose, of St. Cloud with first-degree assault, using deadly force against a peace officer who was shot in the hand. Bail was set at $400,000 with conditions.
Boose denied that he intentionally shot the officer, whose name hasn’t been released. On the contrary, he said the officer, perhaps unintentionally, shot him in the chin during the struggle early Monday and that the bullet also went through the officer’s hand, authorities allege in the criminal complaint.
Authorities deny Boose’s version of events, saying no officers opened fire while arresting him.
After the shooting, a rumor spread on social media that police had shot two black men, leading to a crowd gathering early Monday outside of police headquarters. Officers used tear gas to disperse the crowd.
After two nights of unrest, the Rev. James Alberts of Higher Ground Church of God in Christ shared a megaphone with people Tuesday night who wanted to talk about their experiences with racism and other issues.
Alberts encouraged the roughly 150 demonstrators to keep the gathering peaceful, which they did.
“We are not here at this moment in time because everything is peachy keen, but we are also not here to burn things down,” he said, according to the St. Cloud Times.
The protests have been over George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis and racial injustice. Floyd, who was black and handcuffed, died May 25 after a white police officer used his knee to pin down Floyd’s neck for several minutes as Floyd begged for air and eventually stopped moving. His death has sparked protests around the world.
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