Two men plead guilty in connection to shooting of protesters at Jamar Clark rally

Nathan Wayne Gustavsson (left) and Joseph Martin Backman
Source: Minneapolis Police Department
Nathan Wayne Gustavsson (left) and Joseph Martin Backman
Source: Minneapolis Police Department

The two men with 25-year-old Allen "Lance" Scarsella the night he shot and wounded five Black Lives Matter protesters in November 2015 have pleaded guilty for their participation. Prosecutors will seek jail time for both.

Nathan Wayne Gustavsson, 23, pleaded guilty to second-degree riot and aiding an offender, and Joseph Martin Backman, 28, pleaded guilty to a gross misdemeanor charge of aiding an offender, the Root reported. Since Gustavsson was actually present during the shooting, the Hennepin County attorney's office seeks a sentence of six to eight months in jail and 10 years of probation, according to the Minnesota Star Tribune. Backman, who left before any shots were fired, faces two years of probation and up to 90 days in jail.

The incident, for which Scarsella was sentenced 15 years in prison, happened outside of the Minneapolis Fourth Precinct Police Station. On Nov. 23, 2015, Scarsella, Gustavsson and Backman got into an argument with demonstrators protesting the police killing of Jamar Clark, a black man shot in the head by Minneapolis police. The officers involved, Mark Ringgenberg and Dustin Schwarze, were not charged.

According to the Star Tribune, Gustavsson sent a text to Scarsella saying he knew "how to make big news or get [the protesters] to disperse.” The two returned in masks and Scarsella opened fire on eight of the protesters, wounding five. Gustavsson wrote in a text message to Scarsella the night after the shooting, "We're all guilty in this."

In February, Scarsella faced 12 charges of first-degree assault and one count of riot. His defense argued that he was unaware of issues within the black community in Minnesota, and because he was 22 at the time, "his brain may not have fully developed." The judge and jury, however, did not agree. They found him guilty of all charges.

Sentencing for Gustavsson and Backman is planned for July 19.

How likely are you to make Mic your go-to news source?

Princess-India Alexander

Princess-India is currently an intern at The Movement. As a senior at the Medill School of Journalism she runs the school's only black-interest publication, BlackBoard Magazine and in the past she has worked with In These Times, the National Association of Black Journalists and the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association.

MORE FROM

Burned Quran stuffed with bacon found outside California mosque

This isn't the first time bacon has been used as an act of provocation against Muslims.

Charleena Lyles was a "powerful lady" — until she faced Seattle's flawed criminal justice system

Like Charleena Lyles, women who experience mental health instabilities have been more likely than men to encounter a criminal justice system that is ill-equipped to treat them.

NFL players donate $20,000 to youth football team that was punished for national anthem protest

"We wanted to make sure that we sent those kids the message that it's OK to stand up for what you believe in," Malcolm Jenkins said.

10 things you might have recently missed in the movement for social justice

From Charleena Lyles and Nabra Hassanen to acquittals and vigils, the last few days haven't been easy to keep up with.

Judge declares mistrial in retrial of officer who fatally shot Samuel DuBose

The jury spent five days deliberating Ray Tensing's fate.

University of Missouri to revoke Bill Cosby's honorary degree

The president of Mizzou said Cosby's actions were not in line with the university's core beliefs.

Burned Quran stuffed with bacon found outside California mosque

This isn't the first time bacon has been used as an act of provocation against Muslims.

Charleena Lyles was a "powerful lady" — until she faced Seattle's flawed criminal justice system

Like Charleena Lyles, women who experience mental health instabilities have been more likely than men to encounter a criminal justice system that is ill-equipped to treat them.

NFL players donate $20,000 to youth football team that was punished for national anthem protest

"We wanted to make sure that we sent those kids the message that it's OK to stand up for what you believe in," Malcolm Jenkins said.

10 things you might have recently missed in the movement for social justice

From Charleena Lyles and Nabra Hassanen to acquittals and vigils, the last few days haven't been easy to keep up with.

Judge declares mistrial in retrial of officer who fatally shot Samuel DuBose

The jury spent five days deliberating Ray Tensing's fate.

University of Missouri to revoke Bill Cosby's honorary degree

The president of Mizzou said Cosby's actions were not in line with the university's core beliefs.