A Minnesota man was sentenced to 15 years in prison by a Hennepin County for shooting at a group of Black Lives Matter protestors in 2015. 

Apparently, Allen Scarsella, 25, and some friends got into an altercation with protestors. The group was gathered outside of Minneapolis’ 4th Precinct police station during a demonstration. Scarsella then “feared for his life” when he reached for his weapon, according to CBS Minnesota.

Now, after spending 18 months in county jail, Scarsella faced a judge. This time, it was to see what would happen with his future.

The prosecution asked for the maximum sentence of 20 years for charges of assault and riot. But, Scarsella’s defense argued that he was acting in self defense. They said he was “naive” due to his age. They took this reasoning one step further when they attempted to excuse his decision to wear a mask and shoot five people.

“The fact that others were injured because of something I did weighs heavily on my heart every day,” Scarsella said. “The incident touched so many lives and everybody who was involved is now worse off for it.”

Despite the arguments made by Scarsella and his attorneys, the judge ultimately agreed that he was deeply racist. The judge based this on his actions both on that day and the ones leading up to it. He had already shared racist messages with his friends.

While Scarsella will be in prison for quite a while due to his actions, some of the victims feel his punishment was too lenient.

“I can’t do a lot of things with my kids anymore, I can’t work,” said Cameron Clark. “I’m going to be living with this for the rest of my life.”

Cameron is actually the cousin of the late Jamar Clark, whose death at the hands of Minnesota police was being protested. He believes that the original charges brought up against Scarsella weren’t enough to begin with.

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