On Nov. 15, 2015, Jamar Clark, 24, was shot in the face by Minneapolis police officers. Clark was unarmed. The officers involved in the shooting are identified as Mark Ringgenberg and Dustin Schwarze, both of whom were placed on administrative leave pending an investigation. Now the investigation is complete and it is being reported that the two officers will not face any charges in Clark’s death.
The reason being given is the familiar refrain of the police were in fear for their lives.
A 10-year-old boy witnessed the shooting, which occurred inches from his front door. Ze’Morion Dillon-Hokins stated that Clark was handcuffed and thrown to the ground after yelling expletives at police. Police then shot Clark in the face while he was still handcuffed. However, a judge stated that evidence showed he was not handcuffed and attempted to take one of the officer’s gun. As a result, he ruled against indicting Ringgenberg and Schwarze.
Black Lives Matter activists, the Minneapolis NAACP and community leaders are outraged over the judge’s decision and are demanding police release video footage of the incident.
The U.S. Department of Justice is currently reviewing the city’s response to the protests after Clark’s death. During that time period, peaceful protesters were attacked and shot by four White men. The shooting left five people injured in the racially motivated attack. Clark’s death revealed deep mistrust, damaged racial relations and the deep poverty in the Black community. State leaders are considering funneling aid into the community in the form of job training, loans and other economic initiatives to address the concerns of the community.
In addition, the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division is conducting a federal criminal investigation to determine whether police intentionally violated Clark’s civil rights through excessive force.