Mpls. police union: Clark shot as he struggled to grab officer’s gun
The head of the Minneapolis police union says Jamar Clark refused the commands of police officers responding to a help call from paramedics and launched into a life and death struggle for one of the officer’s weapons, which led to one of the officers shooting Clark.
Despite the accusations of some in the community, Clark was never handcuffed in the confrontation, Police Officers Federation of Minneapolis President Lt. Bob Kroll told reporters Thursday afternoon.
“The officers arrived, he was noncompliant with verbal commands. Officer went to detain him. He chose to struggle and fight,” Kroll said. “At one point he got ahold of an officer’s gun belt and gun … It was in the holster and he had physical control of the handgrip.” The belt turned, but was not physically removed from the officer, he added.
Kroll said his comments were based on the statements the two officers made to investigators piecing together what happened early Sunday morning and that he was confident the evidence would back it up.
He said he was speaking out because someone in a “leadership position” in the city needed to stand up for the officers. “Their names are being smeared.”
Kroll also criticized city leaders for allowing what he described as the “chaos” outside the 4th Precinct police station.
Officers, he said, are worn down from the confrontations with protesters who “should not have been allowed to pitch one tent, set one fire or block the entryway for one minute.”