Minnesota Protests: 51 Arrested As Protesters Shut Down Busy Highway In Wake Of Police Killing Of Jamar Clark

Minnesota protests over the police killing of a suspect, whom some witnesses claim was handcuffed, continued into a second day on Tuesday, and at least 51 protesters have been arrested in the demonstrations, MSN is reporting.

At about 12:45 A.M. Sunday morning, police were called to a neighborhood in north Minneapolis following reports of an assault. While an ambulance crew was attempting to provide aid to the victim, a man — identified as Clark — was interfering with the crew. Police say they tried to calm the man, and a struggle ensued. At least one shot was fired by an officer, hitting Clark. Clark was taken to a hospital where he was placed on life support. On Monday, his family took him off life support, and his death was officially confirmed on Tuesday, according to WCCO (Minneapolis). It is not clear, as of this writing, if any of the officers involved in the shooting were wearing body cameras, according to the New York Daily News, and investigators have declined to release dashcam footage from police cruisers at the scene. Witnesses at the scene say Clark was handcuffed when he was shot, an allegation that police deny.

As early as Sunday night, small-scale protests had erupted around the police precinct where the shooting happened. Several protesters built an encampment around the precinct, vowing not to leave until the names of the officers involved in the shooting are released and any and all available video of the shooting is made public.

On Monday morning, Black Lives Matter held a news conference. One speaker was Clark’s father, James Hill.

“I love my son. For him to die getting shot like that, that’s bad. The police don’t care. The mayor don’t care. The police superintendent don’t care.”

Another speaker was community activist John Martin.

“It’s time for action. Action right now. Sick and tired of this happening in our community.”

Following the news conference, which WCCO said got quickly “out of hand,” more protesters joined the precinct encampment.

On Monday evening, the Minnesota protests moved from the police precinct and onto a nearby highway. At about 6:45 p.m., a group of protesters — varying reports estimate the size of the protests at between 40 to 50 people to as many as 200 to 300 — marched onto an I-94 overpass, shutting down traffic.

“We’re shutting it down, we’re shutting it down! Don’t talk to white media.”

As police tried to set up alternate routes for traffic to go around the protests, protesters then formed a human chain across the alternate route, as well.

Some of the drivers blocked by the protests got into profanity-laden shouting matches with the protesters. At least one driver almost hit some of the protesters.

“Look at what the f*** you’re doing! Look at what the f*** you’re doing! Get the f*** out of here!”

The highway protest continued for about two and a half hours before police ordered the crowd to disperse. At least 51 people were arrested, including 43 adults and eight juveniles. Police had given the protesters plenty of warning, and the protesters were arrested without the use of force.

Meanwhile, the United States Department of Justice has agreed to investigate Clark’s shooting, following a request from Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges, according to Minnesota Public Radio. And while the protesters welcome that development, they say that the protests will continue until the video is released.

Do you believe the Minnesota protesters have a legitimate complaint? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

[Image via Shutterstock/Laszlo66]