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Minneapolis police said they were 'hunting' civilians as they responded to George Floyd protests, body cam footage reveals

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A Minneapolis Police Officer is seen monitoring a protest on June 11, 2020. Stephen Maturen/Getty Images
  • Newly released Minneapolis Police body camera footage shows officers being aggressive toward protesters following the murder of George Floyd.

  • Officers can be heard in clips of the footage saying they should "gas" and arrest protesters.

  • Another clip shows officers fist bumping after firing rubber bullets at protesters.

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Minneapolis police joked they were "hunting" civilians while responding to protests in the wake of George Floyd's murder, newly publicized body camera footage shows.

The body camera footage was first released by lawyer Eric Rose, whose client, Jaleel K. Stallings, was acquitted last month in an incident in which he fired his gun at police during the demonstrations after officers in an unmarked van had fired rubber bullets at him. Stallings has said he fired his gun in self-defense.

Footage seen by the Minnesota Reformer shows police taking an aggressive approach with protesters who were on the streets past curfew in May 2020, days after Derek Chauvin, then a Minneapolis police officer, knelt on Floyd's neck for nine minutes during an arrest.

One officer can be heard imitating the "Looney Tunes" character Elmer Fudd, saying police were hunting for "anarchists." In another clip seen by the Reformer, an officer can be heard telling Sgt. Andrew Bittell, the leader of the SWAT team that fired at Stallings, that his officers should "gas" protesters.

Other pieces of the footage show officers letting the air out of tires, firing rubber bullets at civilians on a bridge, and saying "gotcha!" and fist bumping after firing rubber bullets at protesters.

Lt. Johnny Mercil was heard in one clip saying it was "time to put people in jail," according to KARE. In that slice of footage, officers can be heard saying they want to arrest people "just to prove the mayor wrong about his white supremacists from out of state."

"Although this group is predominately white, 'cause there's not looting and fires," Mercil said in the clip.

Footage from officer Joseph Adams' body camera, seen by the Minneapolis Star Tribune, shows Cmdr. Bruce Folkens saying it was "nice to hear" how officers were responding.

"You guys are out hunting people now, it's just a nice change of tempo," he said in the footage.

The Minneapolis Police Department did not immediately respond Wednesday to Insider's request for comment on the body camera footage.

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