Jamar Clark (1991- ) is an unarmed Black American man who was shot in the head by police in north Minneapolis at 1.00am on Sunday November 15th 2015. The police say he is alive at the hospital. The hospital refuses to talk. His family says he is brain dead.
The police say that Clark was fighting them when their gun went off. The bullet struck him in the head.
Witnesses say that Clark had been handcuffed, knocked to the ground and then shot in the head “execution style”. There were dozens of people there at the time.
Jason Sole, criminal justice chair for the Minneapolis NAACP:
“Every witness account I heard said he was handcuffed. Every witness account. Put a knee on him and shot in the head. That’s the account I’ve heard from young people, older people, etc.”
The police deny he was handcuffed.
How it started: Clark was fighting with his girlfriend. The police and the ambulance arrived. When the paramedics were checking her out and putting her in the ambulance, he continued to argue with her. The police say they were trying to calm him down when he started to fight them.
Clark was out on probation, having been found guilty earlier in the year of making “terroristic threats”.
Two unnamed officers have been put on paid leave. The police will not say who they are.
The state’s Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) is investigating. They are part of the Department of Public Safety.
Video: The police will not say if they have any video.
- body cameras: some Minneapolis police officers wear body cameras. It is unknown if any at the scene did.
- security cameras: there was one near the scene. The BCA told its owner not to talk
- citizen video: some of it has come to light already, but nothing damning so far.
Protest: The following afternoon 250 people marched from the scene of the crime to the police headquarters of the 4th precinct. They were led by Black Lives Matter and the NAACP. They banged on the doors of the precinct to be let in. About 20 of them staged a sit-in at the entryway, demanding to know who killed Jamar Clark. They stayed overnight.
- The police to make public what video they have.
- An independent investigation, not one by another police agency.
- The press to cover eyewitness testimony, not just the police account.
- Full community oversight with full disciplinary powers.
- Police officers to live in the community they serve.
On Monday, the 16th, the mayor asked the US Justice Department for a civil rights investigation.
A decade ago, Minneapolis set up a civilian review board in the wake of a drug raid gone bad. Like most such boards, it is apparently toothless.
In 2013, the police killed Terrance Franklin. It went to a grand jury. The grand jury believed the police, as they almost always do. The police got off.
– Abagond, 2015.
Update (November 18th): Jamar Clark died last night of a gun shot wound to the head. The BCA has named two police officers as responsible: Officer Mark Ringgenber and Officer Dustin Schwarze. Both have been police officers for seven years. They have been with the Minneapolis police for 13 months each. More.
Update (March 30th 2016): No charges will be brought against the two White killer cops. According to the state of Minnesota’s investigation, Clark was not handcuffed and had his hand on one of the officer’s guns and would not let go. The FBI investigation is still open. More.