September 1, 2021 ☼ policing ☼ mpd
Source: Minnesota Reformer - Link
Before the white, unmarked cargo van of the Minneapolis Police Department drove down Lake Street, an officer gave Sgt. Andrew Bittell his orders: “Drive down Lake Street. You see a group, call it out. OK great! F*** ’em up, gas ’em, f*** ’em up.”
Bittell turned to his SWAT unit in the 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 described in court documents. He was referring to “less lethal” plastic projectiles sometimes called rubber bullets or 40mm launchers or rounds.
It was nighttime, just five days after the murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin. Protests and riots had raged for days and laid waste to businesses along Lake Street and the Third Precinct police station. By May 30, protests had ebbed but a curfew was in effect.
At 17th Avenue and Lake Street, around 10 p.m., the SWAT team saw a group of people outside the Stop-N-Shop gas station. Bittell told the driver to head toward the station and said, “Let ’em have it boys!”
“Right there, get ’em, get ’em, get ’em, hit ’em, hit ’em!” he ordered as the officers fired their plastic bullet launchers without warning. They later learned they were shooting at the gas station owner, neighbors and relatives guarding the station from more looting, as well as bystanders, including a Vice News reporter who had his hands up and was yelling, “Press!”
More out-of-control police in the MPD.