Attorneys for three of the men accused of opening fire on Black Lives Matter protesters appeared Tuesday in court to dispute the allegations against them.
Four men — 23-year-old Allen Scarsella, 27-year-old Joseph Backman, 21-year-old Nathan Gustavsson, and 26-year-old Daniel Macey — have been charged in the Nov. 23 shootings that wounded five people.
All of the victims are expected to survive their injuries.
The suspects bragged online about disrupting protests of the Minneapolis police shooting of 24-year-old Jamar Clark and made racist comments in videos and discussions posted online.
The attorney for the one of the men, however, insisted his client was not racist, reported the Pioneer Press.
“Mr. Macey is not a white supremacist, he is not a racist,” said Ryan Garry, the attorney for Macey, who is Asian. The other three defendants are white.
The attorney for Backman also insisted his client was not a white supremacist, and Gustavsson’s attorney claimed prosecutors had no evidence his client had a gun.
Gustavsson’s social media profile shows him holding and firing guns, and one of the men is seen holding a gun in a video recorded en route to the protest.
A judge set bail at $250,000 each for all three men, who are charged with riot, although she allowed conditional bail of $100,000 for Macey.
A bond hearing for Scarsella, who faces five counts of assault with a dangerous weapon and one count of riot, was postponed until next month at his attorney’s request.
Scarsella’s social media profile shows an interest in the Confederacy and right-wing militia groups, and he allegedly told police he was a “sovereign citizen.”
In the meantime, Hennepin County District Judge Hilary Lindell Caligiuri set bail for Scarsella at $500,000.
One of the shooting victims — 18-year-old Wesley Martin, who was shot in the left knee — attended the hearing and said he believed Scarsella should have been “charged with way more stuff.”
However, Martin said he did not believe the men intended to kill the protesters.
“He was shooting to make a point,” Martin said. “That basically black lives don’t matter.”
Watch this interview with Backman’s father posted online by WCCO-TV: