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The focus of the Jamar Clark case is now shifting to a federal investigation after Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman announced he would not be filing criminal charge against the two Minneapolis police officers involved in Clark's death.

The federal case will rely mostly on the same evidence, but the federal investigators will view it from a different angle. They will need to determine if the officers willfully and deliberately violated Clark's civil rights.

Separately, Clark's parents announced they would file a wrongful death lawsuit against the Minneapolis Police Department, saying they believe their son was a victim of excessive force. With the lawsuit against the police department, Clark's parents say they intend to find out why the officers didn't use a Taser or shoot Clark in a non-lethal way.

Freeman Sits Down with KSTP

Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman Tells KSTP's Chris Egert His Job is Not to Make People Happy  

Jamar Clark's Parents Sit Down with KSTP

KSTP's Jessica Miles gets Emotional Reaction from Jamar Clark's Parents to Charging Announcement  

 


The Shooting

Twenty-four-year-old Jamar Clark of Minneapolis was shot just before 1 a.m. Sunday, Nov. 15, on the 1600 block of Plymouth Avenue North in Minneapolis.

Authorities have said their initial investigation shows Clark was a suspect in an assault and was disrupting paramedics who were trying to help the victim. Police say they struggled with Clark, and he was shot.

People who claim they saw the shooting say Clark was handcuffed and wasn't struggling. The state agency that has been investigating the shooting, the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, said it's looking into whether Clark was restrained. They say handcuffs were at the scene, but it isn't clear whether they were on Clark or had fallen.

Lt. Bob Kroll, the head of the Minneapolis police union, has said that Clark had his hands on an officer's gun. Authorities have said no other weapons were found.

"He didn't resist. He did not fight back. There was no struggle and he was in handcuffs when he [police] shot that young man," Nekelia Sharp, a witness, said the day of the shooting.

Sharp claims police took Clark out of handcuffs after he was shot, and she claimed police ordered the witnesses to go back into their apartments.

"We were literally forced back into our apartment units so we would not be able to talk about the incident that happened," she said. "It's not fair."

A video posted on Facebook showed a police officer leaning over Clark, and bystanders could be heard taunting police.


The Evidence

Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman released all of the information related to the Jamar Clark case that could legally be made available Wednesday. It includes Freeman's remarks, a report detailing a factual analysis of the case, video recordings and copies of citizen interviews and police reports.

Freeman said the level of transparency is "unprecedented" and will allow community members to see virtually all of the evidence prosecutors reviewed before making their charging decision.

You can see all of the document information here

Police Arrive on Scene

Police arrive on the scene and approach Jamar Clark. You can see officers take down Clark and then a struggle ensues.  

Paramedics Treat Assault Victim

Paramedics were initially called to the scene of the shooting to help treat a woman who Clark was accused of assaulting.  

 

Transcript of Officer Mark Ringgenberg Interview by KSTPTV

Officer Dustin Schwarze Interview Transcript by KSTPTV

 

Hennepin County Attorney Report on Jamar Clark Shooting by KSTPTV

Victim Rayann Hayes Interview Transcript 1 by KSTPTV

 


The Reaction

Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman's graphic description of the police shooting of Clark brought some relatives of Clark to tears.

Two women who said they were Clark's sisters sat in the front row at the news conference as Freeman described the shooting itself. They clutched each other's arms as they listened and softly shook their heads, and when the video evidence was shown, they covered their eyes and cried.

Some community activists in Minneapolis say they don't accept Freeman's decision not to charge the two police officers in the death of Clark.

An unidentified woman told Freeman he didn't give a "clear and accurate portrayal" of what happened during his hour-long presentation of evidence in the case, which included videos. She called his account "propaganda" and said it didn't include enough from citizen witnesses.

Mica Grimm, a leader of the Minneapolis Black Lives Matter chapter, called Freeman's summary of the case "fake." She says if activists can't find justice at the courthouse, they'll "find it in the streets."


The Protests

Protests over the death of Clark began almost immediately.

The rallies were mostly organized by Black Lives Matter, an international activist movement that campaigns against violence toward black people. Some of the rallies throughout the following months caused widespread disruptions around the Twin Cities metro area.

The first major protest happened Monday, Nov. 16, when protesters spilled onto Interstate 94, closing the westbound lanes between Plymouth and Broadway avenues in Minneapolis.

Minneapolis police say 42 people were arrested in that incident, including eight juveniles. The protesters were arrested on suspicion of unlawful assembly and being a pedestrian on a freeway, which are both are misdemeanors.

In all, 24 agencies from four counties were called in to respond to the I-94 protest. Those arrested were taken to jail in Metro Transit buses; the adults were transported to the Hennepin County Detention Center, and the minors were transported to the Hennepin County Juvenile Detention Center.

On Nov. 24, hundreds of people marched from the 4th Precinct to Minneapolis City Hall calling for a release of the videos of Clark's shooting and the prosecution of the officers involved. The protest continued despite calls from Clark's family to stop.

Perhaps the most disruptive rally occurred right before Christmas as Black Lives Matter protesters blocked roads and caused significant holiday traffic delays around Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.

The rally initially started at Mall of America, which organizers later called "a decoy." Dozens of stores closed their gates, kiosks were covered and even Santa left his sleigh shortly before protesters gathered at the massive shopping district on one of the busiest shopping days of the year.

Numerous signs were posted on mall property saying no protests were allowed - including a long message on a screen in a central rotunda between two Christmas trees.

About 500 protesters initially gathered at the Mall of America early that Wednesday afternoon, Dec. 23, then abruptly walked out while chanting, "What do we want? Justice! When do we want it? Now!"

Protesters then went to a nearby light-rail train station that allowed quick access to the airport, which is a few miles away.

Officials said access to one of two terminals was blocked, causing backups on nearby roads.

Police said eight people were arrested at the airport in relation to that protest, and five arrests were made at the mall; one arrest was unrelated to the protest and was because of an outstanding warrant.


The Occupation

The encampment in front of the Minneapolis Police Department's 4th Precinct in North Minneapolis began the same day Clark was shot and continued for about 18 days.

Members of Black Lives Matter Minneapolis, Minneapolis NAACP and Community United Against Police Brutality were among those demonstrating.

Occupiers made themselves at home in front of the precinct, setting up campfires to keep warm and organizing meals with fellow protesters. A Black Lives Matter banner hung over the police station's own sign, and an upside-down American flag was scrawled with the names of black men shot by police.

The peak of the protests happened the Wednesday after Clark's shooting, with Harteau saying that bottles, hundreds of rocks and about a dozen large-scale bricks were thrown at police officers and at the precinct itself.

Harteau said the protesters caused thousands of dollars' worth of damage during that protest; 12 squad cars had "significant" damage, and tens of thousands' of dollars in damage was done to the precinct, she said.

Throughout the occupation, Harteau's message was that violence would not be tolerated. She acknowledged the protesters' right to have their voices be heard but repeatedly said public safety was the "number one priority."

Harteau said most of the protesters were peaceful but claimed some were violent. She said it was believed that people from outside of the community came to Minneapolis to perpetrate violence and that the police department was "dealing with anarchists."

The encampment at the 4th Precinct continued until Dec. 3, when Minneapolis police arrested eight people as they cleared the protest site near the precinct. Police gave protesters, who had set up tents and were staying warm with fires, about 10 minutes to leave on their own before they moved in wearing riot gear.

It was a move Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges supported.

"It was time," Hodges said at a news conference after the arrests. "We have been balancing the safety needs of the precinct with the right for people to protest and have their voices be heard."

The removal came two days after city officials asked the group, which was led by Black Lives Matter, to leave the area. Hodges agreed, saying campfire smoke was hurting air quality and the blocking of a street impeded emergency vehicles and snowplows.


The Timeline


Those Involved

Jamar Clark

Jamar Clark was shot in the head Nov. 15 and was taken off life support a day later. Police initially said the 24-year-old was a suspect in an assault and was interfering with paramedics who were trying to help the victim. Some who claim they saw the shooting said Clark was handcuffed at the time, which police dispute.  

Rayann Hayes

Paramedics were initially called to the scene of the shooting to help treat Hayes who Clark was accused of assaulting. Hayes later told detectives Jamar had head butted her and caused the cut to the inside of her lip that needed stiches.


 

Officer Mark Ringgenberg

Officer Mark Ringgenberg had been a police officer for seven years at the time of the shooting, including 13 months with the MPD.  He was put on paid administrative leave after the shooting. Court records show that Ringgenberg and another San Diego officer were accused of excessive force in 2012.
 

Officer Dustin Schwarze

Officer Dustin Schwarze had also been a police officer for seven years at the time of the shooting, including 13 months with the MPD. He was also put on paid administrative leave after the shooting.  Schwarze has been identified as the officer who shot Clark.
 

County Attorney Mike Freeman

Mike Freeman was elected Hennepin County Attorney in 1990, serving until 1999. He was elected again in 2006 after Amy Klobuchar opted to run for U.S. Senator. The decision not to charge the officers involved in Clark's shooting came directly from Freeman rather than a grand jury.  

Black Lives Matter

Black Lives Matter is an international activist movement that campaigns against violence toward black people.  Several "Justice 4 Jamar" rallies organized by BLM caused widespread disruptions throughout the Twin Cities metro area.  

Police Chief Janeé Harteau

Janeé Harteau was confirmed as the new police chief in 2012. She was nominated by former Mayor R.T. Rybak and is the city's first female and first openly gay police chief. Her message throughout the protests has been "violence will not be tolerated" and "public safety is the number one priority."  

Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges

Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges has had to balance the demands of protesters, the priorities of the police and the need for public safety all at once. Hodges, who was inaugurated in January 2014, asked the U.S. Attorney's Office to open a civil rights investigation into Clark's shooting the day after it happened.  

 


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