Protests have broken out in Minneapolis after a black man suspected of assault was shot and wounded by police, according to a report from ABC. The shooting occurred at about 12:45 a.m. on Sunday, after police answered a call to north Minneapolis for a reported assault.
Upon arrival at the 1600 block of Plymouth Avenue N., they found the suspect, identified by the Minneapolis NAACP as Jamar Clark, attempting to interfere with paramedics who were administering to the victim. Officers attempted to calm him, but a struggle broke out. According to police, at some point, an officer fired his gun at least once, wounding the man. Witnesses say that the man was handcuffed at the time he was shot.
Witnesses speaking to the Minneapolis Star Tribune indicated that there was a large crowd at the scene during the alteration, and that they became agitated as police attempted to push them back. They also said that police used chemical irritants on the crowd.
Meanwhile, Minneapolis NAACP president Nekima Levy-Pounds tells a different story than the police. In a statement, he said that Jamar Clark was “shot and killed” by the police, and a relative of Clark confirmed that the family was informed by a physician at the Hennepin County Medical Center that Clark was clinically brain dead. Witnesses also indicated that they believed they had seen Clark die at the scene.
Police have not confirmed Clark’s name or medical condition.
According to Clark’s family, he was shot “in the head, execution style” by police after being cuffed. The police deny that he was handcuffed, but have declined to comment further at this time. Mayor Betsy Hodges has scheduled a session this evening at the Minneapolis Urban League to hear community concerns about the incident.
One 1600 block resident, Nekelia Sharp, described what she had seen.
“One officer snatched one arm; the other grabbed the other arm. They instantly put him in cuffs and slammed him to the ground… This young man was in handcuffs. He did not resist. There was not a struggle.”
According to MPR News, two officers have been placed on administrative leave in the wake of the shooting.
The shooting prompted a protest by members of Black Lives Matter and the Minneapolis NAACP. They gathered at the site of the shooting Sunday afternoon and marched to the police station, banging on the door and demanding to be allowed inside. Several Twitter hashtag movements have also started, including #JamarClark and #Justice4Jamar
Mayor Hodges and Police Chief Janee Harteau have called for an independent investigation of the incident.
“A serious incident happened last night. There will be an independent and thorough investigation by the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension. We don’t know the timeline of that investigation, but it will be as expeditious as possible. And the investigators will follow the facts wherever they lead.”
Meanwhile, the Minneapolis NAACP have called on the FBI to conduct their own investigation.
The chair of the Minneapolis NAACP’s criminal justice committee, Jason Sole, said that many black residents in north Minneapolis are upset over the incident.
“We have been saying for a significant amount of time that Minneapolis is one bullet away from Ferguson. That bullet was fired last night. We want justice immediately. We’ve been out here with the community. There are young people who witnessed this action. We want this cop fired. We want everything to fall down on the Minneapolis police department.”
The NAACP’s official statement quoted another witness to the shooting, Teto Wilson.
“[He] was just laying there. He was not resisting arrest. Two officers were surrounding the victim on the ground, an officer maneuvered his body around to shield Jamar’s body, and I heard the shot go off.”
[Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images]