Police union: Jamar Clark went for cop's gun, wasn't cuffed
MINNEAPOLIS (KSMP) - The head of the Minneapolis police union said Wednesday that Jamar Clark was disarming one of the officers and not wearing handcuffs when he was fatally shot in the head on Sunday.
Lt. Bob Kroll, President of the Police Officers Federation of Minneapolis, told reporters that “the suspect has a violent history” and “the officers have no discipline on their records.” The union also referenced the last local officer killed was Aitkin County Sheriff’s Deputy Steven Sandberg, who was disarmed and killed with his own gun.
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The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension also released the names Wednesday of the two Minneapolis police officers involved. Both were placed on standard administrative leave.
Officer Mark Ringgenberg: Police officer for 7 years, including 13 months with Minneapolis Police Department.
Officer Dustin Schwarze: Police officer for 7 years, including 13 months with Minneapolis Police Department.
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Thursday afternoon, the Police Federation doubled-down, once again emphasizing their stance that Jamar Clark seized control of an officer's gun and engaged in a "life-or-death struggle for an officer's weapon."
Joint statement from Police Officers Federation of Minneapolis and attorney for Officer Dustin Schwarze:
The events leading to the tragic death of Jamar Clark should not be misrepresented or distorted in the name of social protest, or political gain.
Contrary to certain public statements recently aired, Jamar Clark was not a peaceful, law-abiding citizen. He pleaded guilty to First Degree Aggravated Robbery in 2010 and was sent to prison for 41 months. In April of this year, he pleaded guilty to another felony, Terroristic Threats. As part of this sentence, a Domestic Abuse No Contact Order (DANCO) was handed down, requiring him to stay away from a certain victim until 2020.
On November 15, 2015, Mr. Clark was involved in another domestic incident, sending the victim to the hospital with a broken ankle, among other injuries. He was intimidating paramedics attending to his victim when police were called.
When police arrived, Mr. Clark refused to show his hands or otherwise comply with police orders. While he was being legally detained, he chose to resist, fight officers, and to seize control of an officer's firearm. Mr. Clark was given multiple opportunities to desist; instead, he chose to engage officers in a life-or-death struggle for an officer's weapon.
At no time was Mr. Clark handcuffed, contrary to press reports and social chatter. Contrary to official statements, Mr. Clark was indeed armed, as he had manual control of an officer's firearm.
This event should have been a peaceful encounter. It was the actions and choices of Mr. Clark alone which determined its outcome."
Frederic Bruno, Attorney for Officer Dustin Schwarze
Robert Kroll, President, Police Officers Federation of Minneapolis