At about 1 a.m. Sunday morning, 24-year-old Jamar Clark lay shot in the street at James and Plymouth in North Minneapolis. A Minneapolis Police officer had pulled the trigger, that much is clear.
Chief Janee Harteau said that police were responding to a domestic assault early Sunday morning when Clark was shot. He had been hindering emergency responders from treating his alleged victim, she said.
However, witnesses who lived in the apartments near James and Plymouth claim that Clark was handcuffed, laying face down on the ground when police opened fire – a claim that Harteau denies.
According to a statement by the Minneapolis NAACP, local business owner Teto Wilson saw the incident unfold.
“The young man was just laying there,” Wilson said. “He was not resisting arrest. Two officers were surrounding the victim on the ground, an officer maneuvered his body around to shield Jamar’s body, and I heard the shot go off.”
So far, no bystander videos of the actual shooting have surfaced. Footage of the incident was likely captured at the Elks Lodge – an African American fraternal order – across the street. Police confiscated the tapes, and have not yet released them to the public.
Black Lives Matter protesters took to the streets of North Minneapolis starting at 3 p.m. Sunday. They formed a human chain around the block where Clark was shot, and declared a no-cop zone. About 20 protesters camped inside the atrium of the local fourth precinct overnight.
The protesters say they are not leaving until they see the Elks Lodge video, and may rally again Tuesday afternoon if it is not turned over.
“My son wasn’t no bad kid,” said James Hill, Clark’s father, on Tuesday morning. “The shooting was ludicrous. I don’t wanna say he was handcuffed, but shooting somebody when they’re handcuffed, they don’t have a care. They really don’t.”
John Martin, who lives in an apartment complex near the scene of the shooting, says he was just up the block when he saw Clark lying down on the ground, his hands behind his back, prior to the shot ringing out. He says he did not see the moment of the actual killing, so he can’t speak to the details that followed.
“I seen what everybody else seen. The young man was actually handcuffed before this tragedy actually happened,” Martin said. “He was laying flat down.”
Martin cautioned the community to keep calm and hold the peace until video evidence is released.
Others were not so confident that footage, even when it becomes available, will be of any use. Adja Gildersleve, an organizer with BLM, believes that the cops will tamper with the film to cover up wrongdoing.
“Everybody outside, the neighbors in the whole entire complex of people in the apartment said they saw him cuffed with his hands behind his back,” Gildersleve says. “He was cuffed, and yet police took a gun and shot him in the head.”
Black Lives Matter says police have not interfered with their occupation of the precinct. They promise not to budge until both the Elks Lodge video and the name of the officer who shot Clark is released.
- Jamar Clark police shooting led to tense standoff with protesters [VIDEO]
- Black Lives Matter leaders cleared of dumb charges in Mall of America case
- The #FuckParis hashtag sends the internet into a fury
- Betsy Hodges: Jamar Clark shooting should be investigated by Department of Justice
- Jamar Clark taken off life support; dozens of Black Lives Matter protesters arrested
- ACLU, NAACP file lawsuit to force release of Jamar Clark video