Jamar Clark shooting, one year later

    by Judy Griesedieck via twitter edited by Meg Martin, MPR News 11/24/2015 11:02:57 AM

    Police: Five shot near Minneapolis protest scene

    The victims' conditions are serious, but not life-threatening, according to police. The shooting happened near the 4th Precinct police station in Minneapolis where crowds have gathered the past week to protest the police shooting of Jamar Clark.
    by Judy Griesedieck via twitter edited by Meg Martin, MPR News 11/24/2015 9:59:44 AM
    The latest dispatch from the Associated Press...

    Minneapolis (AP) - Five people were shot late Monday night near the site of an ongoing protest over the fatal shooting of a black man by a police officer, Minneapolis police said. None of the five suffered life-threatening injuries.

    The shootings occurred late Monday night about a block from the police department's 4th Precinct, where protesters have been demonstrating since the shooting of 24-year-old Jamar Clark on Nov. 15.

    Police Department Spokesman John Elder said in a news release that officers responded to the sound of gunshots around 10:40 p.m. and 911 calls shortly after reported five people had been shot. Dozens of officers assisted victims and secure the scene, the statement said.

    Elder said three victims were taken to a hospital in a private vehicle, and two were transported by ambulance. All had injuries that were not life-threatening. Mica Grimm, an organizer with Black Lives Matter who said she arrived on the scene soon after the shooting, said two of the wounded were hit in the leg, another in the arm and a fourth in the stomach.

    It wasn't immediately clear what prompted the shooting or how many suspects police were searching for. No one was in custody, and police are interviewing witnesses and ask that anyone with information come forward, the statement said.

    Oluchi Omeoga, who has been participating in protests since last Monday, witnessed the incident.

    Protesters saw three people wearing masks who "weren't supposed to be there," Omeoga said. Eventually, the three people left the crowd and began walking down the street, and a few protesters followed. When they reached a corner, the three people pulled out weapons and gunshots rang out, Omeoga said.

    The scene early Tuesday was quiet, with about 200 people milling around and talking. Campfires were lit for warmth amid freezing temperatures. One man with a bullhorn led protesters in chants of "Jamar Clark!"

    Clark's family, in a statement attributed to his brother Eddie Sutton and issued through U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison's office, thanked protesters for "the incredible support" they have shown the family.

    "But in light of tonight's shootings, the family feels out of imminent concern for the safety of the occupiers, we must get the occupation of the 4th precinct ended and onto the next step," the statement said.

    Black Lives Matter had previously planned to announce "next steps" on Tuesday morning following a weekend meeting with community members about strategy.

    Authorities have said Clark was shot during a struggle with police after he interfered with paramedics who were trying to assist an assault victim. But some people who said they saw the shooting allege Clark was handcuffed.

    Protesters and Clark's family have been calling for investigators to release video of the shooting. The state Bureau of Criminal Apprehension said it has video from the ambulance, a mobile police camera and other sources, but none of it shows the event in its entirety. The agency, which is conducting a state investigation, said releasing the footage now would taint its investigation.

    A federal criminal civil rights investigation is also underway to determine whether police intentionally violated Clark's civil rights through excessive force.

    Jamar Clark's brother calls for end to Minneapolis sit-in 

    Minneapolis (AP) — The brother of the man whose fatal shooting by a police officer has prompted protests in Minneapolis is calling for the end of a more than weeklong sit-in at a police precinct.

    In a statement issued early Tuesday morning by the office of U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison, whose district includes Minneapolis, Eddie Sutton says his family appreciates the support protesters have shown since the death of his brother, Jamar Clark.

    But Sutton says that in light of the shooting of five people near the 4th Precinct sit-in, the family believes the demonstrations there should be ended "out of imminent concern for the safety of the occupiers."

    Minneapolis police say five people had injuries that were not life-threatening after the shooting. No one was in custody, and police were asking anyone with information to come forward.

    Black Lives Matter Minneapolis said in a statement earlier Monday that the group would announce the next steps it had planned at a news conference Tuesday.

    5 people shot near 4th PCT, transported to hospital w/ non-life threatening injuries. OFCs searching for 3 white male suspects.

    Statement by Eddie Sutton, Brother of Jamar Clark

    “Thank you to the community for the incredible support you have shown for our family in this difficult time. We appreciate Black Lives Matter for holding it down and keeping the protests peaceful. But in light of tonight’s shootings, the family feels out of imminent concern for the safety of the occupiers, we must get the occupation of the 4th precinct ended and onto the next step.”
    Protester - group was walking people out who were causing problems. Shots fired about a block away. one shot in leg, one in stomach

    Minneapolis police say 5 shot near protest scene

    Associated Press

    Minneapolis police say five people have been shot near the site of an ongoing protest over the fatal shooting of a black man by a police officer.

    Police spokesman John Elder tells The Associated Press five people were shot and all have injuries that are not life-threatening.

    The Star Tribune reports the shootings occurred near an alley about a block away from the 4th Precinct station, where protesters have been conducting a sit-in since the shooting of 24-year-old Jamar Clark.

    Police department Deputy Chief Medaria Arradondo told the newspaper three gunshot victims were taken to a hospital.

    No further details were immediately available. MPR reporters are on the scene and gathering details.

    Henry Habu Matt Sepic | MPR News

    Henry Habu: “When the law doesn’t protect you, but harms you, what do you do?"

    Matt Sepic | MPR News

    A north Minneapolis resident, Henry Habu, 30, spent Sunday among protesters at the 4th Precinct police station. His voice is hoarse from six days of demonstrations.

    “When the law doesn’t protect you, but harms you, what do you do?” he asked. “Do you hide in doors or do you stand out here and fight? I choose to be out here and fight.”

    Funeral set for man killed by Minneapolis police

    Minneapolis (AP) — Funeral plans are set for Jamar Clark, whose fatal shooting by Minneapolis police has sparked protests.

    A cousin says Clark's funeral will be Wednesday at Shiloh Temple International Ministries in north Minneapolis.

    Kenya McKnight says the service will start at noon and last an hour. A visitation will be held at the church before the funeral, from 10 a.m. to noon. McKnight says both will be open to the public and news media.

    Protesters have been demonstrating outside a Minneapolis police station since Clark was shot during a struggle with officers who were answering an assault complaint last Sunday. McKnight says Clark's family hopes there are no rallies on the day of the funeral. She says the family "does not want it to be political."

    Despite cold weather, protesters remain outside the police 4th Precinct office.

    Betty Harpole Matt Sepic | MPR News

    Betty Ellison Harpole: “These young people need to know we care about them.”

    Matt Sepic | MPR News

    Betty Harpole, 79, has joined been at the 4th Precinct most days since protests began. The south Minneapolis resident, a retired teacher born and raised in Mephis, Tenn., brings food every day. On one of the warmer protest days, she delivered ice cream bars. “They went very fast,” she said.

    Harpole feels she needs to support those protesting the police shooting of Jamar Clark.
    “If you hurt, I hurt,” she said. We’re in this together.”

    The issues that bring her to the 4th precinct go beyond Jamar Clark. She’s here to speak out against racism and white privilege.

    “A lot of this was going on before I was born. And it went on during the time when I was growing up. And it’s still going on. You wonder, when does it stop?”

    I’d like to go on record as declaring white privilege as a form of bullying ... and it’s time that it stop.

    Here's a statement issued late Saturday by Minneapolis Police Chief Janee Harteau, in response to an earlier statement by Gov. Dayton:

    I've been in law enforcement for 29 years, and I've never seen more professionalism from police officers than has been displayed in Minneapolis at the 4th Precinct this week. I fully support the actions of my officers. Any investigation, federal, state, or county into my officers' conduct at the 4th Precinct during this time will only confirm the strength of the work my officers did protecting both public safety and the freedom of speech.

    The Latest: Federal lawyers to probe death of Jamar Clark

    1 a.m Sunday

    Minneapolis (AP) — U.S. Justice Department attorneys are expected to fly to Minnesota to investigate the killing of a black man a week ago that prompted protests and calls for the two Minneapolis police officers involved in the shooting to be prosecuted.

    A key issue during their visit will be whether authorities should release to the public videos of the fatal shooting of 24-year-old Jamar Clark.

    Federal and state authorities are resisting releasing the footage, which is from an ambulance, mobile police camera, public housing cameras and people's cellphones, because they say it doesn't show the full incident and making the recordings public would compromise their investigations.

    Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton says that he asked Clark's family and representatives of the Black Lives Matter group protesting his death to meet with the federal government lawyers, who he says are flying to Minnesota on Sunday.

    10:45 p.m. Saturday

    Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton says he will urge the Justice Department to investigate any police actions in Minneapolis this past week that may have violated civil rights. Dayton's comment Saturday came as demonstrators maintain their presence at a police station just blocks from where police shot Jamar Clark last Sunday.

    Police Chief Janee Harteau said any investigation into her officers' conduct "will only confirm the strength of the work my officers did protecting both public safety and the freedom of speech."

    At one point Wednesday night, police used a chemical irritant to control the crowd. Police said a chemical spray was also directed at officers, as well as Molotov cocktails, bottles, rocks and bricks.

    On Thursday, Minnesota U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison tweeted a photo of his son at the protest scene with his hands up and an officer with a gun in the background, calling it "agonizing for me to see."

    10 p.m. Saturday

    Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton has met with the family of a man who was killed by police in Minneapolis and with leaders of a local Black Lives Matter group.

    The meeting Saturday comes as demonstrators maintain their presence at a police station just blocks from where Jamar Clark was shot a week ago.

    Protesters are demanding to see video of the shooting. Authorities say doing so could taint an investigation by the state Bureau of Criminal Apprehension. A federal criminal civil rights probe also is underway.

    Dayton says that Assistant U.S. Attorney General Vanita Gupta spoke by telephone and reiterated that releasing the video would be "extremely detrimental" to the federal investigation.

    Mica Grimm of Black Lives Matter-Minneapolis says she told officials at the meeting that the protest won't end until the community says it's OK.

    8 p.m. Saturday

    A cousin of a Jamar Clark, who was fatally shot by Minneapolis police say her family is recovering after "a very rough week."

    Kenya McKnight also says the family is trying to get a handle on dealing with "the dynamics of a situation" that has included dealing with "police, the community, activists, the government."

    McKnight says a funeral for her cousin Jamar Clark has been scheduled for Wednesday at Shiloh Temple International in Minneapolis.

    She says she wants people to remember that Clark "was loved; he was cared for."

    He acknowledged that "he had flaws," but says he was "on this path of getting his life together."

    Earlier this year, Clark was convicted of a felony count of terroristic threats and sentenced to 15 months in prison. His sentence was stayed for five years and he was out on probation.

    7:15 p.m. Saturday

    Protesters are huddling around fires in freezing temperatures during a demonstration a week after Jamar Clark was fatally shot in a scuffle with Minneapolis police.

    The scene was calm Saturday outside the Fourth Precinct headquarters down the street from where 24-year-old Clark was shot.

    Clark was shot early Sunday after police responded to an assault complaint. 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 at the scene.

    Protesters are demanding to see video of the shooting. Authorities have said it wouldn't be appropriate to release the video because doing so could taint an investigation by the state Bureau of Criminal Apprehension. A federal criminal civil rights probe also is underway.

    4 p.m. Saturday

    Workers have painted over anti-police graffiti on a Minneapolis police station where protesters have gathered for days over the death of Jamar Clark. The graffiti was removed Saturday morning as protesters watched.

    The police station had been spray-painted with Clark's name and anti-police profanity.

    They were on the Fourth Precinct, where protesters have set up tents, fire pits and stools. It's just blocks from where Clark was shot early Sunday after police responded to an assault complaint.

    2:15 p.m. Saturday

    Union leaders have spoken at a rally in Minneapolis in support of activists protesting the shooting death of Jamar Clark by a city police officer.

    Several dozen people attended the rally in cold weather to show solidarity with protesters who have been camped out all week since 24-year-old Clark was fatally shot in north Minneapolis last Sunday.

    One speaker, Alanna Galloway of the Communication Workers of America, says civil rights are workers' rights.

    Kyle Edwards of AFSCME Local 3800, representing University of Minnesota clerical workers, says working class people are becoming aware that "we're all in this together."

    Longtime Minneapolis civil rights activist Mel Reeves told The Associated Press that protesters want the police involved in the shooting prosecuted. Clark was shot by a police officer in what authorities say was a scuffle. Some community members allege Clark was handcuffed, but police dispute that.

    Gov. Dayton issues statement after meeting with Jamar Clark's family

    Gov. Mark Dayton met with family members of Jamar Clark today. This evening, Dayton issued this statement:

    I have met this afternoon with members of Mr. Jamar Clark’s family, with the leaders of Black Lives Matter Minneapolis, and with Congressman Keith Ellison. I expressed my sympathy to the members of Mr. Clark’s family and his community for their loss.

    We were joined by telephone by Assistant United States Attorney General Vanita Gupta, head of the Department’s Civil Rights Division and Anthony Newby of Neighborhoods Organizing for Change.

    The Assistant Attorney General repeated her statement last night that a release of any tapes now in the possession of the State Bureau of Criminal Apprehension would be “extremely detrimental” to the federal investigation.

    Accordingly, I asked the family and Black Lives Matter leaders to meet with the Department of Justice Attorneys, who will be flying to Minnesota tomorrow, to discuss the disposition of the tapes.

    I will urge that the tapes be provided to the family and released to the public, as soon as doing so will not jeopardize the Department of Justice’s investigation.

    I will also urge the Department of Justice lawyers and the U.S. Attorney to investigate any matters, which occurred in Minneapolis during the past week that may have violated the civil rights of any Minnesota citizens.

    I also reiterate my call for a Special Session of the Minnesota Legislature to address the racial disparities in North Minneapolis and elsewhere in Minnesota.

    And I will meet with leaders of Black Lives Matter Minneapolis and Neighborhoods Organizing for Change in December.
    by Regina McCombs, MPR News edited by Jon Gordon, MPR News 11/22/2015 3:03:59 AM

    Mica Grimm works with other protesters to try to remove protesters deemed to be "disruptive." http://pbs.twimg.com/media/CUYfZdEWsAAXvbR.jpg

    Some protesters telling police they want to "finish this." Others saying they need to go. http://pbs.twimg.com/media/CUYevNLWEAErbYe.jpg

    Protesters are having an open mic to talk about their grievances outside the 4th Precinct. http://pbs.twimg.com/media/CUYcSztXIAEF3pk.jpg

    "if you're taking this mic, we aren't talking about killing the police. That's not what we or the NAACP stand for." http://pbs.twimg.com/media/CUYbRk4WsAASTk4.jpg

    Firewood and water sit on the cross section of Plymouth and Morgan outside the 4th precinct. http://pbs.twimg.com/media/CUYankdWEAAgEZr.jpg

    An altercation just occurred at the protest. BLM supporters said they want him to go and wouldn't hurt him http://pbs.twimg.com/media/CUYYVJhUkAAKw7l.jpg

    Protesters are gathering around fires outside the 4th Precinct. http://pbs.twimg.com/media/CUYYE39WwAIZ-du.jpg

     Jigme Ugen  Peter Cox | MPR News

    Jigme Ugen: "I came to this country believing in this great American dream"

    Peter Cox, MPR News

    Jigme Ugen, 42, is vice president of SEIU Healthcare Minnesota. He joined other union members and supporters outside the Fourth Precinct Saturday to show solidarity with the demonstrators camped outside.

    "We stand here proudly on behalf of SEIU in solidarity with Black Lives Matter Minneapolis," he told the crowd. "Through the days, many SEIU staff and SEIU members have been standing here in front of the Fourth Precinct, fighting for justice."

    Ugen is Tibetan, but was born and raised in India. He has lived in South Minneapolis for 14 years. He said Paul Wellstone sponsored him to come to the United States. He said he worked on the senator's campaign when he first arrived.

    "I'm an immigrant. I came to this country believing in this great American dream, and when you come in here [you] are exposed to all these nasty things on a day-to-day basis," he said. 

    "I'm fighting to make this country better and what I believe this country should be and what I was taught in the foothills of the Himalayas about what America looks like."

    "I'm fighting for that American dream and for that America."

    Susana De Leon  Peter Cox | MPR News

    Susana De Leon: "We are not immune"

    Peter Cox | MPR News

    Susana De Leon, 50, of South Minneapolis, is an attorney and a dancer with Kalpulli Ketzal Coatlicue, an Aztec dance group that performed outside the Fourth Precinct station today.

    “It is time for a change to occur. That could’ve been my brother, that could’ve been my son,” she said. “We are not immune. If you are a Latino man, it is likely that you have been harassed and stopped. It happens in front of our families. And we start learning that at an early age.

    She said she worries especially about how this affects school-aged children.

    “Looking at those bright minds and seeing how beautiful those children are. Looking at the violence that awaits them on the streets,” she said. 

    “It pains me, it breaks my heart. To me it’s very important that this stops and it stops now.

    De Leon's group performed a ceremonial dance Saturday afternoon “to ask and pray for all the people who are grieving.”

    "We want some closure,” she said.

    Chris Vdakes: "We shouldn't live a life in fear"

    Peter Cox, MPR News

    Chris Vdakes, 38, lives in Bloomington now, but he lived in North Minneapolis for about 18 years.

    “I don’t believe the police should throw their training out, and use their emotions to dictate their actions. I believe it was fear that shot Jamar,” he said. “I want accountability for the actions of police.

    “We pay these police to keep us safe, and we shouldn’t live a life in fear of them and that’s why I’ve been out here every day,” he said.

    Vdakes said he and two other men escorted another man out of Friday night’s demonstration because the man had a rock over his head and was trying to throw it at police. 

    “He was trying to make this violent,” he said.
     "Ninety-nine percent of the people out here want a peaceful protest so we can have accountability."

    An eye for an eye leaves the world blind. If we show them aggression, how do we expect them to react?”

    Dingane Xaba, 25   Peter Cox | MPR News 

    Dingane Xaba: "It's something that affects me every day"

    Peter Cox, MPR News

    Dingane Xaba, 25, of South Minneapolis, a former North Minneapolis resident, said he thinks the police are too militarized and not on the side of the working class.

    “If you are a part of a police ‘union’ you’re not part of a union,” Xaba, a member of Industrial Workers of the World, said. “Anytime there’s a strike, the police are on the side of the rich.

    He said he sees the weeklong protest outside of the Fourth Precinct as a sign of change in how people are responding – something he thinks came out of the police shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo.

    “I’ve never seen anything like this happen here. And I think that’s a really, really positive thing,” he said.

    “It’s something that affects me every day. I can’t walk down the street without being reminded that I’m a black male in an essentially white surpremacist country, or a country founded on white supremacy,” he said.

    Mpls. restaurant collecting donations

    MPR News staff

    Minneapolis' Birchwood Cafe tweeted Friday night that it would be collecting donations for Black Lives Matter and its Fourth Precinct efforts:

    We can't be w/ you in person but we're there in spirit & collecting funds to support @BlackLivesMpls #goodrealfood pic.twitter.com/oyTyZBl44O

    — Birchwood Cafe (@BirchwoodCafe) November 20, 2015

    Fourth Precinct: Union members to rally at noon

    MPR News staff
    Labor union organizers, members and supporters plan to join demonstrators outside the Fourth Precinct for a rally at noon today.

    With Union hats and banners on display, the rally promises to be a strong show of solidarity.

    In an announcement Friday, the organizers said Jigme Ugen, Vice President of SEIU Healthcare MN, and Cherrene Horazuk, President of AFSCME 3800, would be among the speakers at the event.

    SEIU issues note of support for demonstrators

    The SEIU Minneapolis council released a statement Friday in support of the Fourth Precinct demonstrators' efforts. It said many of its members had been joining the protests at the precinct.

    The note called on Mayor Betsy Hodges to play a direct role in deescalating the situation. 

    We believe this moment is an essential test of whether our city moves forward as one, or the cracks of inequality and injustice split wide open.

    It also questioned police Chief Janee Harteau's actions throughout the demonstrations.

    Chief Harteau can and must use this situation to radically rethink her strategy of policing people of color in Minneapolis, especially in North Minneapolis.

    Read the full statement.
    Wintry welcome. Brittle sun. High 27. Wind NW 7-12 mph.
    by MPR Weather via twitter edited by Meg Martin, MPR News 11/21/2015 5:04:08 PM
    Check back tomorrow for more updates from the Fourth Precinct.

    In the meantime: Where the story stands

    Feds: Releasing videos "would be extremely detrimental to investigation"

    MPR News staff

    U.S. Attorney Andrew Luger and his federal colleagues investigating Jamar Clark's death issued a statement Friday night saying they do not plan to release any evidence, including video, from the shooting.

    Demonstrators who have camped outside the Minneapolis Police Department's Fourth Precinct for nearly a week have said they will remain there until the video from near the scene of Clark's shooting death is released.

    The statement, in full:


    "The U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Minnesota, Department of Justice's Civil Rights Division, and FBI Minneapolis Division are conducting an independent investigation into whether the death of Jamar Clark violated any federal criminal statutes.

    As is our practice in conducting investigations into allegations of constitutional violations committed under color of law, experienced federal prosecutors and FBI agents are conducting a thorough review of all evidence in this case. That includes interviewing relevant witnesses, reviewing relevant information, and pursuing leads. We are doing so in a manner that ensures the integrity of the investigation and the reliability of the information obtained.

    Release of any evidence, including any video, during an ongoing investigation would be extremely detrimental to the investigation. We are conducting our investigation in a fair, thorough, and expeditious manner."

    Mohamed Samatar: "It's cold, but the energy is high"

    Mohamed Samatar of south Minneapolis said the protests bring together communities to think about justice.

    He has been coming here for the last four nights. "It's cold, but the energy is high," he says.

    As a young black Muslim person, Samatar said he's been thinking about issues happening around him.

    "So being at a safe space where everyone around you understands and is fighting for the same cause and to be heard," he said, "is a warm for me."

    Mukhtar Ibrahim | MPR News

    by Mukhtar Ibrahim, MPR News edited by Meg Martin, MPR News 11/21/2015 2:11:54 AM
    "How big does our message need to be before they see it?," says Ashley Fairbanks, artist projecting messages onto fourth precinct.
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