Minneapolis resident Hakim Bey live-streamed a police standoff, what he called a ‘house siege’ in a north side Minneapolis neighborhood Wednesday. Bey shared the video with the Black Lives Matter Northside Facebook group page.
What he captured was a heavily militarized hours-long police presence in a residential neighborhood in response to a call about a man carrying on in the morning, yelling and screaming. Bey said adding the man is mentally ill and was likely not taking his medication. Police arrived and Bey said police fired at him with rubber bullets. A man inside the house can be heard yelling back at police that he wasn’t coming out for fear he’d be shot.
Bey filmed the scene from inside his home in several parts over the course of more than four hours (stopping intermittently to recharge his phone or change position) to document the law enforcement reaction to a black man who Bey said is “clearly just mentally ill …off his meds,” unarmed, inside a house and not a threat. But tanks, snipers and at least a dozen heavily armed officers of varying ranks appear at different times during the videos, with a clutch of eight or nine with automatic rifles, handguns and shotguns staked-out behind and flanking a military tank.
“He’s mentally ill and they’re doing it wrong. They know him.”
The law enforcement presence, with officers heavily armed and aimed directly at the house, and in specific the window where the man can be seen, albeit not clearly is dramatic and worrisome. The man inside the house, Bey said and in part can be heard on the videos, hollered things like “call my Chinese counterpart …call Chicago TV.”
“Fam’s mentally ill and they’re laughing at him. An army here. No hostages. No crime. He’s not resisting, he’s in his house …they’re treating him like a domestic terrorist.”
Blocks and blocks of the neighborhood are locked down, Bey said adding police told him to go into his basement and later, to stop live streaming. Both commands Bey, on his property inside his home, declined to comply with.
In the beginning of one video, Bey focuses on two officers breaking into a house across the street from the house where the man is holed up to set up a spot to shoot from, he said.
“Look at this! Look at him! That gun. He is a killer. He’s going up to the top of that house to aim (his gun) at that house. Look at this. Look. This is fu*king crazy. Did you see that gun? Did you see that sniper gun this fu*king dude had?” You can hear an alarm going off inside the house as offciers break the front door lock.
“This dude is mentally disturbed. He’s on medication and you need a sniper,” Bey asked rhetorically.
Throughout the streams, Bey, even more than an hour in of filming is astonished and disgusted. “There’s tanks, snipers, an army out here …clearly (the man) is mentally ill …what he needs is a person of color to calmly talk to him. They’re doing it wrong. “
Bey said the man was initially shot with rubber bullets the first time he came out of the house and after running back inside refused to come out despite police repeated demands he do so.
“Y’all shot me already,” the man can be heard yelling. “I’ll kill myself” before coming out. “They shot me, why would I go out?” Afraid to come out, he asked for his mother and would come out with her. He asked several times for his mother. Bey said police “lied” saying the man’s mother was there.
“Look at this. Look at this. This is how it is.”
Bey said that earlier in the morning he believed perhaps a neighbor phoned police about the man who was yelling and carrying on.
“It’s not a bank robbery, there’s no hostages but there’s snipers with huge, huge guns all after a mentally ill dude.”
On a final video posted late Wednesday afternoon, Bey was asked if the man was harmed. He was not, Bey said. In the Facebook comment thread, a person suggested Bey had saved the man’s life by filming the episode.
In 2015 Jamar Clark was shot by Minneapolis police which sparked an around-the-clock protest outside the 4th precinct. In late November of that year, following a march to honor Clark, young white men with body armour and weapons began verbally attacking protesters and Black Lives Matter activists. They then fired on marchers and five were injured. One of the men, an avowed white supremacist, Allen Scarsella, was convicted on 12 felony assault charges and in 2017 was sentenced to 15 years in prison.