Two Minneapolis police officers will not be charged in the November shooting death of 24-year-old Jamar Clark, an unarmed Black man.
Atlanta Black Star initially reported that Clark was shot following a domestic dispute with his girlfriend. According to various eyewitnesses, he was handcuffed by police when they heard a gunshot. Clark was taken to the hospital where he was pronounced brain dead. After being taken off life support, Clark’s family members told media outlets that he was shot “in the head, execution style.”
In a recent news conference, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman told media members that the evidence showed Clark allegedly struggled with officers Mark Ringgenberg and Dustin Schwarze. Freeman also said that Clark said more than once, “I’m ready to die” during the altercation.
Freeman said there was DNA on the gun but none on the handcuffs used on Clark. The Minneapolis Star Tribune reports that Clark may have had his hands on Ringgenberg ‘s gun during an altercation with the officer. That officer called for his partner and said, “He’s got my gun, he’s got my gun.”
Protesters from the Minneapolis arm of the Black Lives Matter movement have been active in the city demanding justice for Clark. Many of those protesters waited patiently for Freeman’s announcement. Protesters and supporters took to Twitter to vent their frustrations.
— CeeCee (@khanknee) March 30, 2016
They investigated THEMSELVES and found THEMSELVES not guilty… #JamarClark
— TariqTouré طارق تورى (@TariqToure) March 30, 2016
Police shooting should trigger an automatic DOJ investigation. #JamarClark
— Carolyn Hyppolite (@CKHyppolite) March 30, 2016
— Melina Abdullah (@DocMellyMel) March 30, 2016
No charges against the officer who murdered #JamarClark. It's heartbreaking, but I can't say I'm surprised. The system is broken.
— Sylva (@queenfeminist) March 30, 2016
Audience member "If the city burns today, its on your hands."#JamarClark
— Sam Tyler (@RadNewsMedia) March 30, 2016
— Keegan Stephan (@KeeganNYC) March 30, 2016
— ChuckModi (@ChuckModi1) March 30, 2016
Both officers involved have a history of police brutality and failure to follow proper procedure. Schwarze was accused of threatening passengers during a traffic stop in 2011. According to the Star Tribune, he threatened to beat a tased victim and a second passenger if they got out of the vehicle.
While Ringgenberg was a cop in San Diego, he was sued in federal court for allegedly being rough with a suspect who was resisting arrest in 2012.
Earlier this month, Freeman told news outlets that he will not convene a grand jury to decide whether to charge the two police officers.