MINNEAPOLIS (KMSP) - The family of Jamar Clark has filed a federal lawsuit against the two Minneapolis police officers involved in his killing in November 2015. The lawsuit, filed Friday in U.S. District Court, accuses officers Mark Ringgenberg and Dustin Schwarze of unreasonable use of excessive force.
On Nov. 15, 2015, Jamar Clark, 24, was fatally shot by Minneapolis police outside of an apartment on the 1600 block of Plymouth Avenue North. Officers were responding to a request for assistance from paramedics who reported that Clark was disrupting their ability to aid an assault victim.
"Officer Schwarze's actions were reasonable because if Clark successfully pulled the gun from the holster, Ringgenberg and Schwarze would have been shot and other bystanders might have been hit as well," Freeman said.
On Oct. 21, 2016, Minneapolis police announced Ringgenberg and Schwarze would not be disciplined. The decision followed an internal affairs investigation.
TIMELINE: The Jamar Clark shooting
The federal lawsuit filed against the officers Friday names James Clark as the plaintiff, as trustee for the heirs and next of kin of Jamar Lemont Clark.
“At the time of the seizure of his person, Jamar Clark was unarmed, smaller than the Defendants, and out-numbered,” the lawsuit states. “Defendants Riggenberg and Schwarze, while acting under the color of state law, violated Jamar Clark’s clearly established and well-settled civil rights to be free from excessive force and unreasonable seizure.”
The lawsuit says the officers could have used non-lethal methods to restrain Clark during the struggle, but instead made the decision to shoot him in the head.
“While a struggle was underway, Defendants Riggenberg and Schwarze could have immobilized Jamar Clark with non-lethal methods. Rather, Riggenberg ordered Schwarze to shoot Jamar Clark, and Schwarze shot Jamar Clark in the head.”
The lawsuit seeks financial damages to be determined by a jury trial.