Minneapolis City Council rejected Jamar Clark settlement in closed-door meeting

The Minneapolis City Council rejected a proposed settlement in the Jamar Clark case last week, but remains open to negotiations, Minneapolis City Attorney Susan Segal announced in federal court proceedings Wednesday.

A  judge ordered several Minneapolis city leaders to court Wednesday morning to discuss the Jamar Clark excessive force lawsuit. Clark was fatally shot by police back in November 2015.

The talks come just days after the city settled a $20 million lawsuit with the family of Justine Damond, who was fatally shot by former Minneapolis police officer Mohamed Noor. Apparently, the two sides had a deal on the Clark lawsuit in the same meeting that led to the Damond settlement, but the city council rejected the proposal.

Jamar's stepfather James Clark singled out racism as one reason the city just agreed to pay the family of Justine Rusczyzk Damond, while rejecting an agreement Clark and his legal team had negotiated with the city attorney.

“It happened so fast and this case with me and my lawyer has been going on for about four years now. We just don’t understand it. It just seems they’re trying to kick our case under the rug and go do something else,” Clark said.

“Bob Bennett argued for a transformational amount. He got it. It’s been publicized in the newspaper. It puts us in a position where we should also get a transforming amount,” added William Starr, attorney for Jamar Clark’s family.

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey and other city leaders were mum on the specifics, so we don’t know the terms of any agreement.

Jamar Clark was 24 when he was shot to death outside a party at an apartment on Plymouth Avenue North back in November 2015. Official investigations found Clark struggled with officers Mark Ringgenberg and Dustin Schwarze and might have had a hand on Ringgenberg’s gun when Schwarze fired.

Unlike the Justine Damond case, neither officer was criminally charged.

The death lead to weeks of protest and unrest, and Jamar’s adopted dad - the appointed next of kin - filed a lawsuit two years ago, frustrated there’d be no justice in the case while blaming police for the use of an excessive amount of force.

Now, negotiations with the city are set to resume behind closed doors.

“We just don’t understand it. It just seems like they’re trying to kick our case under the rug and go on and do something else. There ain’t no justice since it happened. It’s not fair. It’s not right. We just want some kind of end,” Clark said. “We feel like we can’t get no kind of justice for our son. To me, what happened to my son was like what happened to [Philando] Castile when he was killed and they settled theirs. They want to keep kicking us under the rug.”