MINNEAPOLIS (KMSP) - A Minneapolis police officer shot an assault suspect after he reportedly hindered paramedics from administering aid early Sunday morning. Police said preliminary reports indicate the suspect was not in handcuffs when he was shot, but advocacy group Black Lives Matter Minneapolis says neighbors are disputing that information.
At a news conference at City Hall, Minneapolis Police Chief Janee Harteau urged the community to call the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, which is conducting an investigation. Anyone with information is urged to call the BCA at 651-793-7000.
"We need to know the truth," she added.
Mayor Betsy Hodges and BCA Superintendent Drew Evans were also at the news conference.
Per Minneapolis police:
At about 12:45 a.m., police responded to a report of an assault on the 1600 block of Plymouth Ave. N. near James Ave. N. While en route, police learned the call had become a “HELP” call, as described by police in their news release, and the assault suspect had returned to the area, “confronting paramedics and disrupting their ability to render aid.” It's unclear what prompted the initial assault report.
The officers and the suspect were engaged in a physical altercation and at some point, an officer “discharged his weapon striking the suspect.” Police contend he was not in handcuffs. Another ambulance arrived and transported him to Hennepin County Medical Center, where he is being treated. His condition has not been released.
Minneapolis police are investigating and speaking with witnesses. The two officers involved the shooting are on paid administrative leave, per department policy. Their identities have not been released. They added this incident was not related to any previous incidents reported in the Fourth Precinct earlier in the evening.
Black Lives Matter Minneapolis response
The NAACP identified the man as Jamar Clark. Black Lives Matter Minneapolis is demanding #JusticeforJamar on social media, which has been abuzz all day after neighbors reported he was handcuffed while shot, conflicting with the police account of the incident. The group doesn't know if Clark is alive, or if he was armed.
"Earlier today Sunday Nov. 15th, Jamar Clark, was shot by Minneapolis Police Dept. while unarmed at the intersection of James and Plymouth in North Minneapolis. Overwhelmingly, neighbors are recounting that Jamar was handcuffed while shot and that the police threatened residents to leave the scene immediately after the incident. It is unknown if the victim is alive. This will not stand. Stay tuned here for updates on next steps," Black Lives Matter Minneapolis posted on their "Justice 4 Jamar" Facebook event.
Black Lives Matter Minneapolis also shared attorney and Minneapolis NAACP President Nekima Levy-Pounds' Facebook post, calling on the community to contact Minneapolis Mayor Hodges "to ensure that a process of justice is carried out." She said Clark is in his 20s.
"Family, early Sunday morning, neighbors near James & Plymouth in North Minneapolis are reporting that MPD has shot an unarmed black man. Many accounts are saying that he was handcuffed when shot in the head. Police refuse to release any information, including whether or not he is alive or being treated at HCMC. Please call on Mayor Betsy Hodges @ (612) 673-2100 to get on this shooting now and ensure that a process of justice is carried out for this man. Follow #JamesandPlymouth"
Throughout Sunday afternoon and Sunday night, hundreds protested the shooting. Some blocking and intersection and occupying the entrance to the Fourth Precinct building.