Tension high after Minneapolis shooting
MINNEAPOLIS -- Tensions remained high Wednesday as investigations continue into the police shooting of an unarmed 24-year-old black man. About 2 p.m., scuffles broke out as Minneapolis police moved out protesters camping in front of the 4th Preci...
MINNEAPOLIS -- Tensions remained high Wednesday as investigations continue into the police shooting of an unarmed 24-year-old black man.
About 2 p.m., scuffles broke out as Minneapolis police moved out protesters camping in front of the 4th Precinct building. Police said they needed to allow other citizens access to police.
Black Lives Matter Minneapolis and other protesters kept a presence there most of the time since the early Sunday fatal shooting of Jamar Clark.
A couple dozen protesters were at the precinct Wednesday afternoon, with several tents and campfires in rainy weather. As soon as police began to move in, social media calls went out for more activists to head to the precinct.
With the crowd swelling, police doused the campfires by dumping water on them from garbage cans and tried to move protesters away from the front door of the precinct.
A KSTP-TV photographer reported that a protester threw an object at an officer, then was arrested. There were other reports of bottles being thrown at police.
No serious injuries were reported immediately as police set up barricades, but allowed protesters to remain near the precinct front door.
Protesters say they will maintain their encampment there until police release videos of the shooting so people can see that Clark was handcuffed when he was shot in the head. Officials say they are looking into whether he was handcuffed after initially saying he was not.
KARE-TV reported that a police union official said Clark was trying to take an officer's gun when he was shot.
Police were called to the North Minneapolis neighborhood early Sunday when ambulance personnel reported a disturbance as they treated a patient.
Hours before Wednesday's precinct tension, Clark's sister said her brother was peaceful and should not have been shot, adding that she will pray for police involved in the shooting.
"He did not deserve to be shot down like an animal," Javille Burns told reporters Wednesday.
However, she said, she is not angry with police officers and will pray for them.
"Love conquers all," she said.
At the same news conference, Lena Gardner, an organizer with Black Lives Matter, said activists will continue to speak out.
"We want them to stop killing us," Gardner said.
State officials Wednesday identified officers involved in the shooting as Mark Ringgenberg, 30, and Dustin Schwarze, 28. Each has worked 13 months for Minneapolis and has been a police officer seven years.
Both were placed on routine administrative leave after the shooting. Officials did not say which officer shot Clark.
The Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s Office reported Clark died of a single gunshot wound to the head.
Schwarz was an officer in Minneapolis suburbs of Richfield and Brooklyn Park before taking the Minneapolis job. Ringgenberg worked for Maple Grove and San Diego, Calif., police departments.
Minneapolis officials did not immediately release information about whether either officer had been disciplined.
Superintendent Drew Evans of the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension said videos of the shooting do not show the entire incident and will not be released.
The BCA says its investigation could take up to four months. Minneapolis Mayor Becky Hodges and Gov. Mark Dayton requested a federal civil rights investigation, too, which is beginning.
U.S. Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., said that he supports a federal investigation.
"A full and thorough accounting of the facts is a necessary step so that we can get to the bottom of what happened," Franken said. "In the meantime, it is incumbent upon all of us, but most especially policymakers and elected officials, to recognize that real inequality persists and to work to dismantle it," Franken said.
The deaths of unarmed black people at the hands of police over the past several years have fueled protests nationwide and rekindled a national civil rights movement. The best-know of the shootings came in Ferguson, Mo.