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Police Chief: Officers Did Not Violate MPD Policies in Jamar Clark Shooting

October 24, 2016 09:13 AM

Minneapolis Police Chief Janee Harteau says the two officers involved in the shooting death of Jamar Clark in November 2015 did not violate Minneapolis Police Department policies and says she supports their actions. 

The statement came as Harteau gave an update on the internal affairs investigation into the actions of Officers Mark Ringgenberg and Dustin Schwarze on Friday afternoon.

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“The officers will not be criminally charged, and we concluded there were no violations of MPD policy,” Harteau said.

Harteau said the use of force review is "extensive" and outlined the many steps investigators took before they came to the conclusion that the two officers were in line with MPD policies.

“The investigation standards were extremely high in both the BCA investigation and MPD’s internal affairs investigation, and I have the utmost confidence in the findings,” Harteau said.

See an overview of the Jamar Clark case here.

Clark died after he was shot by a Minneapolis officer during a struggle in November 2015.

Police say Clark was interfering with the paramedics who were treating a woman Clark was accused of assaulting. A police union spokesman says Clark was shot after reaching for an officer's gun, but several people who say they witnessed the shooting insist Clark was handcuffed and not resisting arrest at the time he was shot.

In March, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman announced that the two Minneapolis police officers involved would not be criminally charged in Hennepin County. The investigation revealed that DNA showed Clark grabbed the officer's gun, and evidence showed he was not handcuffed as claimed.

“I have concluded the use of deadly force in the line of duty was necessary to protect an officer from apparent death or great bodily harm,” Harteau said Friday. “It is the same conclusion that was made by the county attorney.”

READ: No Charges in Hennepin County for 2 Minneapolis Officers in Jamar Clark Shooting

Ringgenberg, 30, and Schwarze, 28, both seven-year veterans at the time of the shooting, faced possible charges of murder or manslaughter.

"After an exhaustive review of this entire incident, I have concluded that these officers did not dictate the outcome of this incident," Harteau said. "This was an outcome that no one wanted. I fully understand that the impact of this incident has been devastating first and foremost, for the Clark family. It has also had broader implications on this Police Department and the city it serves."

Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges also said Friday that she "trusts the thorough process" as well as Harteau's judgment.

READ: TIMELINE: Key Events in the Jamar Clark Case

See the full statement from Harteau here.

Hodges and Harteau will host a town hall-style conference call at 7 p.m. Friday. Those interested in listening or participating should call:

  • 785-424-1675 or 888-632-3384 (toll free)
  • Use Conference ID 50417
  • Callers will be asked to identify themselves prior to joining the call. Please call in 5 to 10 minutes prior to the start time.

Watch raw video of the news conference here.

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Jennie Lissarrague

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