While the world mourns the victims of the Paris terrorist attacks, the Black community in America is still dealing with the ongoing slaughter of its men and women by the police. According to The Guardian, almost 1,000 people have been killed in encounters with the police this year. The latest is Jamar Clark, a Minneapolis man who apparently was shot dead while handcuffed.
Clark’s death has sparked large protests by local residents including the Black Lives Matter movement. Local residents say tensions between police and the Black community have reached a boiling point.
“We’ve been saying for a long time that Minneapolis was one bullet away from Ferguson. Well, that bullet was fired last night,” said Jason Sole, an associate professor at Metropolitan State University and a member of the local NAACP chapter, in an interview with The Minneapolis Star Tribune.
Police were called to break up a domestic incident between Clark and his girlfriend on Sunday. According to bystander Nekelia Sharp, paramedics were taking away the woman, when Clark tried to talk to her. That’s when he was handcuffed and shot, according to Sharp. The Atlanta Blackstar was unable to reach Sharp for a comment.
Clark was taken to hospital where he was pronounced brain dead. According to family members, Clark was shot, “in the head, execution style.” Bystanders reacted angrily and swarmed emergency vehicles. In a video posted to social media, a woman is seen saying, “Y’all just killed that man.”
The local NAACP chapter released a statement quoting Teto Wilson, a witness to the shooting.
“[He] was just laying there,” Wilson said according to the statement. “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.”
Police Chief Janeé Harteau denied that Clark was handcuffed. In a statement released Sunday, she said officers were trying to calm Clark, when an altercation ensued and a gun went off. Harteau said the incident had been turned over to the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension and two officers were on administrative leave.
The Star Tribune reported that about 250 people showed up on the scene of Clark’s death to stage a protest. Black Lives Matter members also demonstrated in front of the Fourth Street police station on Sunday night. Mica Grimm, an organizer with Black Lives Matter Minneapolis, said they plan to stay camped outside the police station until an officer is arrested or indicted.
Grimm told The Star Tribune the community is fed up.
“We’re here because police officers have gotten away with murder for so long and we’re tired of it.”