The Minnesota man who shot five Black Lives Matter protestors in 2015 has been sentenced to 15 years in prison, according to CBS News. Allen Scarsella, 25, was convicted in February on a dozen felony counts of assault and riot. The shooting occurred after he got into an argument with people demonstrating outside a Minneapolis police precinct, following the shooting death of Jamar Clark by a police officer.
Prosecutors had asked for the maximum sentence of 20 years behind bars, but expected a sentence of between 12 to 17 years, according to the Star Tribute newspaper.
“The fact that others were injured because of something I did weighs heavily on my heart every day,” Scarsella said at his sentencing. “The incident touched so many lives and everybody who was involved is now worse off for it.”
His victims, however, were unmoved. Jamar Clark’s cousin Cameron Clark, who as shot twice by Scarsella, said: “All of that was lies and he was just trying to make the judge have some sympathy for him.” Clark also felt the sentence was indicative of the disparate sentencing policies between white and black Americans, saying, "If that was me, I'd be looking at 25, 30 [years] to life."
Via text messages shared in court, prosecutors were able to prove Scarsella had a history of racist behavior. At the sentencing Wednesday, Assistant County Attorney Chris Freeman typified the incident as "Five unarmed black men [were] gunned down in what could only be called a racially motivated mass shooting." In handing down her sentence, Judge Hilary Caligiuri said "You brought a loaded gun into a gathering of people of whom you expressed such contempt. You were not there as a person of good will. And it played out as anyone would have predicted. The only saving grace is that your shots did not kill their targets."
[Photo: Minneapolis Police Department]