MINNEAPOLIS (KMSP) - Minneapolis police Chief Janee Harteau issued a statement Thursday ahead of the upcoming decision from the Hennepin County attorney on whether or not to charge the police officers involved in the deadly shooting of Jamar Clark last November.
Clark was shot and killed by Minneapolis police officers on Nov. 15, 2015. The incident sparked demonstrations at the Minneapolis Police Department’s Fourth Precinct and throughout the city.
In the statement, Harteau said the department understands the impending legal decision from Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman will likely cause “tension and angst” in the community. She said police will respect free speech, but will not tolerate violence or threats to the safety of citizens.
“We will not tolerate acts of violence against anyone, and that includes acts of violence against our officers.” Harteau said. “We will enforce the laws of Minnesota and the ordinances of the City of Minneapolis and anyone who violates them will be held accountable.”
Last week, Freeman announced he will not send the Jamar Clark case to a grand jury and said he will make the decision whether or not to charge the officers. Freeman has previously said he hopes to have a decision in the case by the end of March.
Full statement and video from Chief Harteau
The Minneapolis Police Department has a long history of helping residents, and those who visit our city, exercise their first amendment rights. It is also our responsibility to do everything in our power to keep people safe. We understand that an upcoming legal decision has the potential to cause some tension and angst in and around our city. As we plan for the county attorney’s decision, whatever that may be, I would like members of our community to know public safety is always our number one priority.
We will not tolerate acts of violence against anyone, and that includes acts of violence against our officers. We will enforce the laws of Minnesota and the ordinances of the City of Minneapolis, and anyone who violates them will be held accountable. We will not allow people to set fires on our streets or occupy and vandalize our buildings. We will not allow people to jeopardize the safety of others by causing massive disruptions and hindering emergency vehicles from helping those in need. The MPD has to, and will, strike a balance between first amendment rights with the safety of everyone.