MINNEAPOLIS (KMSP) - RayAnn Hayes insists she had to break her silence to set the record straight regarding her role in the Jamar Clark case.
"I don't know who called police and said I got beat up by my boyfriend,” Hayes said at a Monday morning press conference organized by the Minneapolis NAACP. “I don't know who said it was a domestic. I don't know where that came from. Never from me."
What RayAnn Hayes wants the public to know
No, she was not Jamar Clark's girlfriend.
Yes, she was injured the night of November 15 in a scuffle.
Yes, she called 9-1-1.
No, Clark never assaulted her.
"All these stories going around, they are not true,” Hayes said. “Just sick of the rumors."
Video cameras would capture Hayes being loaded into the ambulance. In her mind, Hayes figures Clark approached the rig to make sure she was okay.
"Jamar tried to come with me. He told them he was my son because they won't let you into the ambulance if you’re not family,” Hayes said. “They wouldn't let him in. He hit the door and he walked away. You can plainly see he is not hysterical, he wasn't breaking windows, he wasn't going crazy. He was just standing there."
From there, authorities have said Clark failed to comply with police orders. He was forcefully taken down to the ground and a scuffle ensued. Clark reached for an officer’s weapon and was shot dead.
Demand for case to be reopened
Hayes and other civil rights leaders rallied on Monday for a special prosecutor to take a second look at the evidence, including Clark's DNA found on Officer Mark Ringgenberg's gun.
"Bottom line, did Jamar Clark have to be murdered that night?” said Carmen Means of Black Lives Matter Minneapolis. “That is the question at hand."
But in making his decision not to charge the two Minneapolis police officers involved in the shooting of Jamar Clark, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman referred to an interview Hayes gave to investigators shortly after the deadly confrontation. The interview occurred at the hospital, where Hayes is quoted as saying "the next thing I know I'm being shoved to the ground and getting beat against the floor.” Hayes is asked if Jamar did that to her. Her response: “Yeah, and then when I got up he's like, ‘Oh I'm sorry I thought you were somebody else.’"
On Monday, Hayes claimed she never gave the interview. And if she did, she was too drugged up from her injury to recall what she said. Hayes explained that regardless of what went down between her and Jamar Clark earlier in the night, her 24-year old, unarmed friend did not deserve to be shot.
"He was amazing. He was life,” she said. “Energetic. Fun. Everything. He was a good person. He loved life. Never in a million years would he say he was ready to die."
Statement from Hennepin County Mike Freeman
"Ms. RayAnn Hayes gave a number of statements about the events surrounding her call to 911 on November 15. In particular, she identified Jamar Clark as her assailant to the paramedics that night. Paramedic Haskell stated, “the female, our patient, says that’s the guy that did this. He did this to me,” referring to Clark. This information was shared with the officers. We are aware that Ms. Hayes also gave statements later that night she was assaulted by Clark, but months later claimed that she was not assaulted by him.
"Officers’ actions are based on information they have at the time. Additionally, some civilian witnesses who knew both Ms. Hayes and Clark characterized their relationship as being of a romantic or domestic nature. The investigative materials that we released contain all of the statements and evidence reviewed with respect to this issue and were considered together as a basis for our conclusion.
"The prosecutor’s job is to answer the narrow question whether the police officers reacted unreasonably and without justification at the moment they used deadly force. If the answer to this question is that the officers acted reasonably in fear of their lives or lives of others, the prosecutor, under Minnesota Statutes and Supreme Court cases, cannot bring the criminal charges against them.
"I am convinced that if one reads the entire record available on-line and applies the mandated legal standard they will agree that no charges can be brought against the police officers."