Minneapolis, MN — Last year, after the death of George Floyd sparked protests and riots across the country, Americans watched as the police state showed its teeth. TFTP reported on multiple instances of police violently attacking peaceful protesters, up to and including cops in California shooting a grandmother in her face with a rubber bullet.
Many folks were horribly injured by the police violence with some losing their sight forever. It was nothing short of a brutal occupation in which countless innocent people found themselves victims to police violence.
Jaleel Stallings, 29, was one of these victims and unlike the grandma mentioned above, he was able to defend himself against an unprovoked attack by police. His act of self-defense, however, got him charged with attempted murder.
Though some of the folks involved in the George Floyd protests were causing damage, rioting and looting, Stallings was one of the many peaceful protesters. But the fact that he was innocent, was no defense against brutal police violence.
On May 30, after police had imposed a curfew, officers used this as an excuse to dole out mass violence. Body camera footage shown during Stallings' murder trial showed that police were seemingly ecstatic that they were given a pass to hurt anyone they wanted.
Sgt. Andrew Bittell was one of these cops who received orders to quite literally "f**k people up."
“Drive down Lake Street. You see a group, call it out. OK great! F*** ’em up, gas ’em, f*** ’em up,” Bittell was told.
That's when he turned to his SWAT team in an unmarked white van and said, “Alright, we’re rolling down Lake Street. The first f***ers we see, we’re just hammering ’em with 40s,” according to body camera footage.
The term "40s" is short for the "less than lethal" rubber bullets which are 40 millimeter rounds.
As the SWAT team drove around looking for unsuspecting victims, around 10 pm, they found a group of people outside of a gas station and decided to open fire on them without warning.
"Let 'em have it boys!" Bittell told his crew of SWAT cops ready to inflict violence.
Recommended for You
“Right there, get ’em, get ’em, get ’em, hit ’em, hit ’em!” he ordered.
The group of people this SWAT team opened fire on were not protesters. They were the owners of the store and their friends who were protecting their property from looters. One of them was also a reporter with VICE News who identified himself as "press" as the cops unloaded a fury of "less than lethal" rounds at them.
Police subsequently attacked and beat the VICE reporter, throwing him to the ground and pepper spraying him in the face. About an hour later, this same violent group of officers found Stallings walking home through a parking lot and decided to open fire on him without warning.
Stallings was hit in the chest with a 40 mm round and because the SWAT team was in an unmarked car and did not identify themselves, Stallings, an honorably discharged Army veteran, thought he was under attack and had been shot for real. He immediately pulled out his legally owned mini Draco pistol and fired three times.
"I immediately thought I was being shot at with real bullets and was about to die. I was under the impression that I was bleeding out," Stallings told reporters.
That's when the SWAT team jumped out of the vehicle yelling, "shots fired!"
As soon as Stallings realized they were cops, body camera footage shows he surrendered and immediately dropped the gun and lay face down on the pavement.
Despite the fact that he surrendered and was not moving at all, the SWAT team proceeded to beat the hell out of him, fracturing his eye socket in the process. Even though they beat the hell out of him, Stallings expressed relief when he asked if any officers were hurt by his warning shots.
Stallings was then kidnapped by the SWAT team and charged with two counts of attempted second-degree intentional, non-premeditated murder, two counts of first-degree assault, deadly force against police officers, two counts of second-degree assault, use of a dangerous weapon, one count of second-degree rioting and one count of intentional discharge of a firearm.
Police created an elaborate web of lies and used the lies to railroad Stallings. Thankfully, however, unlike the cops, the body camera footage did not lie.
"Officer Stetson and Sergeant Bittell allowed their anger and/or fear to overtake their faculties and they beat Mr. Stallings for nearly 30 seconds before attempting to place him in handcuffs," Judge William Koch wrote. "The video evidence does not support their testimony Mr. Stallings was resisting arrest in any way, instead he surrendered to their authority."
Last week, after the truth was presented, Stallings was acquitted and all of the bogus charges thrown out. The court ruled that Stallings acted in self-defense against his attackers and was justified in shooting at them — despite the fact that they were cops.