MINNEAPOLIS (KMSP) - The Minneapolis NAACP is demanding that Minneapolis police officers treat crowds with dignity and respect in any demonstrations that may follow a decision in the Jamar Clark case. The NAACP called a Friday morning press conference to blast Thursday’s statement from Minneapolis Police Chief Janee Harteau, stressing that the city will not tolerate violence or vandalism.
“We will not tolerate acts of violence against anyone, and that includes acts of violence against our officers.” Harteau said. “We will enforce the laws of Minnesota and the ordinances of the City of Minneapolis and anyone who violates them will be held accountable.”
“I’m not understanding why the chief would inflame things rather than try to calm things down," said Pastor Brian Herron. "Why not call for calm and peace?”
Minneapolis NAACP president Nekima Levy-Pounds: "Many in our community find Chief Harteau's recent statements to be offensive, insensitive, and divisive. Beyond that, her comments deflect from the underlying causes of outrage and frustration in the Black community -- sustained levels of violence being inflicted by the Minneapolis Police Department upon people of color.”
NAACP & other African-American community leaders gather in solidarity awaiting Jamar Clark prosecution decision. pic.twitter.com/NrYkQtCEKA— Paul Blume (@PaulBlume_FOX9) March 25, 2016
Black Lives Matter Minneapolis organizer Mica Grimm: "The fact of the matter is that Jamar Clark did not deserve to die. We expect for the police officers who killed him to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. We will not sit on the sidelines and be silent in the face of injustice. We want our black lives to matter under the law.”
Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman has said he hopes to have a decision by the end of March on whether or not to charge the Minneapolis police officers involved in the deadly shooting of Jamar Clark.
“Mike Freeman has the opportunity to provide justice for us. He holds the key," said the NAACP's Jason Sole. "Whatever happens beyond that is on Mike Freeman and Chief Harteau. We can’t control the city.”
Clark was shot and killed by Minneapolis police officers on Nov. 15, 2015. The incident sparked demonstrations at the Minneapolis Police Department’s Fourth Precinct and throughout the city
Minneapolis Mayor Betsey Hodges statement on MPD video controversy
I absolutely support the right to peaceful protest in our city. I regret that some of the images in a video that the Minneapolis Police Department released yesterday do not reflect that the large majority of the people who protested at the Fourth Precinct last fall did so peacefully. I’ve expressed my opinion to Chief Harteau, and she understands.
I’ve spoken with Chief Harteau. The Police Department will use national best practices in regarding peaceful protest activities. Protecting the right to free speech and peaceful assembly is as much the Police Department’s job as protecting the safety of our residents, businesses, visitors, police officers, and protesters.
In Minneapolis, we value First Amendment rights to free speech and peaceful protest. As Mayor, I intend to honor those values.
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