MINNEAPOLIS (KMSP) - Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges and Police Chief Janee Harteau requested a Department of Justice civil rights investigation into the shooting of Jamar Clark on Monday afternoon. Hours later, nearly 300 protesters shut down I-94 northbound near Broadway Ave. in Minneapolis.
Demonstrators chanted and held signs including "Handcuffs, Don't shoot" and "Justice 4 Jamar" for hours on the freeway before Minnesota State Patrol began making arrests. According to Lt. Tiffani Schweigart, 34 adults and 8 juveniles were arrested and booked into jail after refusing to clear the area around 9 p.m. Most of those arrested will receive misdemeanor citations for unlawful assembly and being pedestrians on the freeway.
Clark, 24, was shot by police outside an apartment on Plymouth Ave. N. early Sunday morning. Preliminary witness accounts suggest Clark was handcuffed when a Minneapolis police officer fired.
“This incident should not and will not define us,” Harteau said.
Clark's dad, James Hill, said his son is now brain dead from the incident.
"They gonna put him on life support," Hill said. "His brain is dead. Just waiting to pull the plug. Waiting for other family to arrive. But he was already dead when he got to the hospital."
Late Monday night, a Black Lives Matter spokesperson said Clark was taken off life support.
A family member has confirmed #JamarClark was taken off life support this evening, and passed away. Rest in power. You will be avenged.— Black Lives MPLS (@BlackLivesMpls) November 17, 2015
The investigation into the shooting has been handed over to the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension. The BCA said investigations into officer-involved shootings “take time,” and they are expecting a 2 to 4 month investigation.
"We've got confidence in the BCA," Lt. Bob Kroll, Minneapolis Police Union, said. "Our officers are cooperating with the process. We want people to remain calm. Let the investigation be completed. I am confident in the end, our officers actions will be justified."
"I support the decision to request the involvement of the U.S. Department of Justice. While I have complete confidence in the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, bringing to bear all available resources will ensure justice for all parties," Gov. Mark Dayton said in a statement.
Following the shutdown of I-94, Dayton said at a press conference on Tuesday he "is very uncomfortable with the fact that it happened."
Gov Dayton on I-94 shutdown by BLM: "I'm very uncomfortable with the fact that it happened." pic.twitter.com/Z0tFSBaiDM— Timothy Blotz (@TimBlotzFOX9) November 17, 2015
Dayton on diffusing more protests: "I'll talk to anybody if it helps forestall violence or threatens public safety." pic.twitter.com/Omd6iEnZiA— Timothy Blotz (@TimBlotzFOX9) November 17, 2015
Protestors are demanding that Minneapolis police turn over any video of the incident and publicly name the officers involved. The department said from the outset that Clark wasn't restrained, and described him as an assault suspect who confronted paramedics, who were treating his girlfriend, and officers that were called to the scene. On Monday, Harteau said police were not wearing body cameras.
Mayor Hodges' full letter
Dear Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Gupta and U.S. Attorney Luger,
As you are aware, there was an officer-involved shooting this this past weekend in Minneapolis. At the request of the City of Minneapolis, the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension has initiated an independent investigation of the incident for review by the Hennepin County Attorney. In addition to the state investigation, I am asking the Civil Rights Division and the United States Attorney’s Office to review this matter and open a Civil Rights investigation.
We have utmost faith in the competence and independence of the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension. Nevertheless, Minneapolis Police Chief Janeé Harteau and I believe it assists the interests of transparency and community confidence in the outcome of this investigation to have your review and consideration of this case.
Thank you for your consideration.