The mayor of Minneapolis said recently released video footage of police conduct during protests over the death of George Floyd is "galling."
Mayor Jacob Frey made the comment in a Facebook video message on Thursday, days after new videos were released that show Minneapolis officers talking about "hunting" people who were out past curfew during protests last year, and beating a man who had surrendered.
"The most recent video footage that we saw showing use of force, I think is antithetical to everything that we should be pushing for in our police department," Frey said.
The videos were released as part of a case involving Jaleel Stallings, who was charged with shooting at officers in a white unmarked van after they fired a rubber bullet at him.
Stallings, who was hit in the chest by the round, had a permit to carry the firearm in public, the Star Tribune reported.
He testified at trial that he thought he was being attacked by civilians and fired three shots toward the van as a warning before taking cover behind his truck. No officers were hit.
When he realized he had shot at police, Stallings surrendered, according to his attorney, Eric Rice. Stallings was acquitted of the charges filed against him.
In videos obtained by NBC affiliate KARE of Minneapolis, officers are seen pilling into the van to enforce a curfew put in place following days of unrest and violence in the wake of Floyd's death on May 25, 2020.
Floyd, a Black man, died after then-officer Derek Chauvin knelt on Floyd's neck for 9½ minutes. The Minneapolis Police Department fired Chauvin, and in April he was found guilty of Floyd's murder. He was sentenced to 22 and a half years in prison.
In the footage, police talk about "hunting" protesters who are out past curfew, according to KARE.
"Alright, we’re rolling down Lake Street. The first f------ we see we’re just hammering ‘em with 40’s," an officer says in the video, referring to the less lethal rubber bullets.
"Yes sir!" some of the other officers respond.
In another part of the video, an officer says "gotcha" after he seemingly hits someone. A second officer laughs and gives him a fist bump.
Some of the footage also focuses on Stallings and shows police firing a less lethal round at him.
That video, published by the Star Tribune, shows an officer repeatedly kick Stallings and say, "you f---ing piece of s---." As an officer places his knee on Stallings' lower back, Stalling says, "listen, listen, sir."
Officers then place handcuffs on Stallings, who is lying face down. When they turn him over, blood is on his face.
The Minneapolis Police Department declined to comment citing the "active, ongoing internal investigation."
Frey said in his video message that he wanted to ensure there is transparency in the investigative process, calling it "complex." He said that the Minneapolis Civil Rights Department has to gather evidence and conduct interviews to build a thorough case.
The mayor said the process has been complicated because a lot of the involved officers who could have been potentially disciplined or terminated have already left the police department, some through resignations and others through retirement.
Other officers are currently on leave and are being advised by their attorneys not to participate in an interview with the Civil Rights Department, the mayor said.
"If we can't participate in an interview process, it's difficult for us to gather evidence and information. If we can't gather the necessary evidence and information, then we're not put in a position where we could actually get the decision upheld. So that adds to the complexity once again," Frey said.