Justice Department Pans Police Response to Jamar Clark's Death

March 20, 2017 07:05 PM

A federal review of an 18-day standoff outside a Minneapolis police precinct following the fatal shooting of a black man in 2015 has found problems with the city's coordination and communication.

The Justice Department's review Monday came at the city's request after the shooting of 24-year-old Jamar Clark.  The DOJ report makes 36 findings and 71 recommendations. 


Minneapolis Police Chief Janee Harteau said many of them were not a surprise.

"We're not afraid to have others look inside.  We're not afraid to ask the question, 'What can we do better?'  We want to do better," Harteau said.

The report praises the city for bringing the occupation to a peaceful and successful end, but highlights communication and leadership that was chaotic and incomplete at times.

For example, the report found that helpful information and communication "briefs were only sent to MPD command staff and did not make it down to line officers on the precinct."

TIMELINE: Key Events in the Jamar Clark Case

Clark's death in a confrontation with two officers sparked weeks of protests that were largely peaceful, though one on Nov. 18 included skirmishes between officers and demonstrators.

The review also found the city didn't have a coordinated response to the occupation and didn't have a plan for managing a civil disturbance as it became a long-term event.

RELATED: Vigil for Jamar Clark Held in North Minneapolis 1 Year after Police Shooting

The county prosecutor and the U.S. attorney both declined to charge the two officers involved.

Jason Sole, president of the Minneapolis NAACP, said the problems don't stem from the way the occupation was handled. Rather, they stem from the fact there was a need for an occupation in the first place.

"Does that report show we are dying out here?  You won't have an occupation if you take care of people.  Certain people don't matter to them," Sole said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

RELATED: Scarsella Found Guilty on All Charges in Shooting of Minneapolis Protesters 


Ellen Galles

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