Jamar Clark protesters lined the streets after it was announced no charges will be filed against the Minneapolis officers involved in the fatal shooting of the 24-year-old black man.
The Jamar Clark shooting protesters heard in the video used as evidence in the case shouted, “F**k the police,” but the chants of “Hey, hey, ho ho. These racist cops have got to go,” after the ruling were less aggressive, bolstering hopes that rioting like the incidents in Ferguson and Baltimore could be avoided.
— USA TODAY (@USATODAY) March 31, 2016
Minneapolis police officer Mark Ringgenberg was in a physical altercation with Jamar Clark before officer Dustin Schwarze shot him, because the suspect took control of his gun, according to Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman. Ringgenberg reportedly told Schwarze to open fire on Clark.
The police shooting investigators tasked with reviewing the case determined that the Minneapolis officers acted in self-defense, the Washington Post reports.
“Schwarze’s actions were reasonable given both his observations and Ringgenberg’s plea,” the Hennepin County Prosecuting Attorney said during a press conference announcing that no charges would be filed in the Jamar Clark shooting case.
An unidentified woman in the crowd shouting at Mike Freeman, said, “If the city burns down, it’s on your hands!”
Cameron Clark, Jamar Clark’s cousin, had this to say about the prosecutor’s view of how the fatal police shooting unfolded.
“I feel like the story is being made up, and it’s all lies. My cousin would never tell the cops to kill him. His life was doing good. My cousin never told me he was ready to die.”
Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges strongly urged protesters to assemble peacefully. Hodges acknowledged that many residents were feeling hurt, angry, and mistrustful of a system that has “not worked for everyone.” The mayor also said her heart breaks for the loss of Jamar Clark and the pain being felt by everyone involved in the incident.
Mayor Hodges also told the citizens of Minneapolis that the Jamar Clark shooting is still under investigation by the state and the federal government via the United States Justice Department. Exactly why the Department of Justice has become involved in a local crime was not noted. A police shooting does not fall under federal jurisdiction. In previous cases where a black man has been shot by white police officers, the DOJ has stepped in to investigate possible Civil Rights violations simply because of the race of the parties involved.
Prosecutor to announce decision on charges in Minneapolis police shooting of Jamar Clark: The announcement wil… https://t.co/P8Ugox68Te
— Teddy Backers (@TBackers) March 30, 2016
Minneapolis Police Chief Janee Harteau told the public that both Ringgenberg and Schwarze have been re-assigned to non-enforcement duties. Whether or not the officer cleared by local authorities will remain off the street permanently is not yet known.
The Jamar Clark shooting investigation reportedly included a review of 1,370 pages of autopsy reports, 122 Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension reports, 97 different Minneapolis police reports, and 21 DNA reports. Freeman said it took him a total of 31 hours to read the evidence reports in the case.
The Hennepin Prosecutors Office has now posted a multitude of photos, videos, and documents related to the case on its website.
What do you think about the no charges filed ruling in the Jamar Clark shooting case?
[Image by Getty Images/Stephen Maturen]