NORTH MINNEAPOLIS (KMSP) - Inside Franklin Middle School in north Minneapolis, a crowd of about 100 people gathered on Saturday to listen as speakers encouraged a continued pursuit of justice for Jamar Clark.
The community meeting included members from the Twin Cities Coalition for Justice for Jamar Clark, Neighborhoods Organizing for Change, Black Lives Matter Minneapolis, and a man who says he witnessed Clark’s shooting death.
“This is a victory because for so long the northside has been ignored,” Mica Grimm, Black Lives Matter Minneapolis, said.
Also among those on the microphone was Monique Cullars-Doty, the aunt of Marcus Golden who was killed by St. Paul police on Jan. 14, 2015. Cullars-Doty shared her experience with police and the court system.
“They said my nephew tried to run over two officers, then tried to run over one officer. Then the story continued to change,” she told the crowd.
“So we found out he was shot in the back of the head. He was also shot in the back of his arm. Then his case went to a grand jury. We did not even know it was going to a grand jury because the system is not designed to protect us it’s designed to protect the police.”
St. Paul police maintain a gun was found within Golden’s reach and that he drove his truck at officers. A grand jury returned no bill on his case. Yet, unlike Golden’s case, Clark’s has witnesses.
“He was not armed as far as I could see,” witness Dennis Cherry said. “He was completely subdued. He was not moving, he was not flinching. The officer was bouncing on him. He did not flinch, he did not move so my speculation was he was knocked out or they’d already choked him out.”
Results from the 4th precinct demonstrations were also detailed at the meeting.
“This is the fastest the DOJ has come to take over a case ever,” Grimm said. “It usually takes months and they were called in within three days. This is also the first time the governor actually said he’s going to dedicate the special session to racial equity.”
For those who stand against police brutality and injustice, this meeting was another means of taking action.
“We all need to feel safe,” Brettina Davis, Twin Cities Coalition for Justice for Jamar Clark, said. “In numbers I feel like we’ll feel safer. If we’re all coming together under one roof with meetings and marches for one cause I think it’ll make a huge difference.”
The coalition plans on meeting again on Dec. 19 for a march they say will be the biggest the city has ever seen.