US prosecutors said on Monday four men are charged over shooting a crowd of protesters demonstrating against fatal shooting of a black man by the police Minneapolis.
Five people were shot and injured during a Black Lives Matter protest on Nov. 23 in Minneapolis, none of the victims suffered from life threatening injuries.
Allen Scarsella, a 23-year-old white man who admitted firing the shots that injured five black protesters, was charged with armed riot and five counts of second-degree assault.
Joseph Backman (27), Nathan Gustavsson (21) and Daniel Macey (26), who accompanied Scarsella with weapons, were all charged with armed riot.
Black Lives Matter, an activist movement against violence against black people, have been organising protests in Minneapolis over the death of 24-year-old Jamar Clark, who was shot and killed while unarmed by the police on Nov. 15.
Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman said the shooting was racially motivated and added “Maybe I shouldn't say that, but the language they use, and what they say about fellow Americans, citizens, are just not acceptable.”
Investigators found racist and derogatory texts about black people in Scarsella’s phone.
The phone also contained images showing Scarsella with guns and holding a confederate flag, which is considered as a racist symbol by many in US.
Dylan Roof, the suspect of killing 9 black people in Emanuel African Methodist Church in Charleston, South Carolina also had pictures with the confederate flag.
Clark’s death is the last example of killing unarmed black men by the police setting of protests and discussion about racial bias against black people in US.
Large scale protests were held after the killings of unarmed black men in Ferguson, New York and Baltimore among many other cities over the last two years.
A US Department of Justice investigation following the killing of Michael Brown by police officer Darren Wilson found that law enforcement institutions in the city had racially biased practices against the black people.