MINNEAPOLIS (KMSP) - The federal investigation into the shooting death of Jamar Clark turned out the same as the state's investigation on Wednesday – no evidence of a crime. Two Minneapolis police officers will not be charged.
This time, the investigation was about constitutional rights. The question: Did officers Dustin Schwarze or Mark Ringgenberg willfully violate Jamar Clark's federal civil rights when he was shot?
“Under this standard, it is not enough to show that the officers made a mistake, that they acted negligently, or by accident, or even that they exercised bad judgment,” U.S. Attorney Andy Luger announced Wednesday.
Luger said this investigation focused on whether Clark was handcuffed when he was shot by Minneapolis police officers.
“Given the lack of bruising, the lack of Mr. Clark's DNA on the handcuffs, and the deeply conflicted testimony about whether he was handcuffed, we determined we could not pursue this case based on a prosecution theory that Mr. Clark was handcuffed at the time he was shot,” Luger said.
Once again, many community members were not satisfied with the decision. And the distrust between groups like Black Lives Matter and Minneapolis Police remains.
'A terrorist organization'
“I don't see Black Lives Matter as a voice for the black community in Minneapolis,” said Lt. Bob Kroll, President of the Police Officers Federation of Minneapolis. “Real black leaders will tell you this is a terrorist organization that puts out false narratives.”
Minneapolis Police Chief Janee Harteau was displeased with Kroll’s controversial comments.
"Bob Kroll does not speak for the Minneapolis Police Department,” Harteau said. “Many are frustrated and find his comments divisive."
In a statement released Wednesday from the Minneapolis Police union, Kroll continued, “From the beginning, Black Lives Matter and other activist organizations have attempted to publicly communicate mistruths and incomplete information regarding the Clark incident. The false narratives spewed by Black Lives Matter and select city elected officials contributed to a dangerous and unproductive atmosphere for Minneapolis police officers, visitors and residents alike.”
The case is still far from over. Results of an internal investigation are still pending; civil lawsuits are also likely.