Civil rights leaders call for independent investigation into Minneapolis police officers’ bodycam video

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Community and civil rights leaders stood outside Minneapolis City Hall on Friday morning demanding an independent investigation into Minneapolis Police body camera video.

The bodycam footage in question reveals some Minneapolis police officers talking about "hunting" down protesters and celebrating shooting them with rubber bullets five days after the murder of George Floyd in May 2020.

"We are appalled by the blatant disregard for the constitution that these officers swore to uphold and protect — we demand immediate action, not the normal lip-service," said Johnathon McClellan, president of the Minnesota Justice Coalition.

The bodycam video was recorded while a curfew was in place after Floyd’s death.

At times, the bodycam footage shows officers firing at anyone in sight as they tried to clear the streets.

"Instead of bringing peace to our community, they added chaos, instead of bringing calm to our city, they terrorized peaceful protesters,” Jaylani Hussein, the executive director of CAIR-MN, said.

“Due to an ongoing, internal investigation, The Minneapolis Police Department is unable to comment,” an MPD spokesperson wrote to 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS.

The new videos released on Tuesday are part of the criminal case against Jaleel Stallings, who was accused of trying to kill police officers. Stallings was acquitted of all charges earlier this summer after arguing he fired in self-defense at an unmarked van.

5 EYEWITNESS NEWS requested an interview with Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey to discuss the community activists’ request for City Hall officials but was told there wasn’t time in his schedule.

“Mayor Frey has reviewed the footage. The content is galling," a statement from Frey’s office said. "Under State law, the mayor is limited on what he can say without exposing the City to legal liability or undermining the disciplinary process. He won’t trade accountability of involved officers for political expediency.”