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Ex-officer who beat Black man sentenced to 15 days in workhouse

Updated: Oct 24, 2023

Justin Stetson at his sentencing (Via Kare11)

Former Minneapolis Police Officer Justin Stetson was sentenced to 15 days in the workhouse and two years probation for beating Jaleel Stallings in 2020. Stetson was part of a team of Minneapolis police officers who shot at Stallings from an unmarked van during the civil unrest that followed George Floyd’s murder. Stallings returned fire with a pistol he was legally carrying but, after realizing it was police, dropped his weapon and surrendered.

That did not stop Stetson from severely beating Stallings, punching and kicking his head even after his sergeant told him to stop. Stallings settled with the City of Minneapolis for $1.5 million in 2022 and was acquitted of all charges.

"My case crossed the desks of many people who had the power to put an end to my abuse, but not the intestinal fortitude to stand up to the truth, either because they were too afraid or too complacent to be the voice of justice," Stallings said in his victim impact statement.

As part of the deal Stetson made with the Attorney General’s office, the lesser charge of misconduct by a public employee was dropped. If Stetson completes his two-year probation without incident, the felony conviction will be wiped from his record. However, he is barred from ever serving in Minnesota law enforcement again.

The agreement also requires Stetson to write a letter of apology to Stallings and to take anger management classes. Stetson stated before the court that "I accept responsibility for my actions and the sentence of this court."

Stallings objected to the plea deal, saying that out of everyone involved in his beating, he is the only one who has had to spend time in jail.

After fearing retaliation from MPD, Stallings moved to Houston. There he launched a nonprofit called the Good Apple Initiative to help empower more "good apples" within law enforcement.

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