UPDATE: Minneapolis police announced just before noon Tuesday that they had arrested one 23-year-old man in Bloomington related to Monday night's shooting. According to the statement, police worked "nonstop throughout the night to develop leads and suspects." No name was released, and the police said they are still searching for other suspects related to the shooting. Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges released her own statement following the news. Hodges, who called the incident "abhorrent," said the city is "sparing no efforts to bring any and all those responsible to justice."
SECOND UPDATE: A second arrest was made at noon. A 32-year-old Hispanic man was arrested in his car in south Minneapolis. Police are still searching for additional suspects in Monday night’s shooting at the Fourth Precinct police station.
Five Black Lives Matters protesters were shot and are being treated for injuries that were not life-threatening after a shooting incident Monday night, and those on the scene say the shooter or shooters were white supremacists who had come to disrupt the protest.
The Jamar Clark shooting death at the hands of Minneapolis police officers has exposed tension across racial lines, and between black residents and law enforcement. Police have claimed protesters threw rocks, and had prepared Molotov cocktails, while protesters say their peaceful gatherings have only been disrupted by police use of mace and "less lethal" weapons.
Monday's shooting, if witness accounts bear out, would introduce a newly violent element to the ongoing fallout from Clark's death.
On Thursday, a short video surfaced that seemed to depict a pair of men on their way to the north Minneapolis protest site, with one brandishing a pistol. Those men were soon labeled as white supremacists, and numerous postings on online message boards such as 4chan indicated a semi-organized movement in response to the Black Lives Matter protests. Protesters also claimed to have seen the men in the video at the scene, and police confirmed they were aware of a potential "disturbance" to protests that had, with few exceptions, remained peaceful.
Last night, witnesses noticed a group of white men who were standing off to the side and not interacting with other protesters, who had generally established a communal atmosphere. Two men later told of their exchange with the men; that clip was subsequently picked up by the Daily Stormer Youtube account, which has also uploaded racist and anti-Semitic videos.
According to the two witnesses, the white men appeared to be videotaping the scene, but not speaking with anyone. A number of protesters approached them, asking why they would not remove masks and show their faces. "Fuck no," the men replied. The two black witnesses then said someone in the crowd punched one of the men, and say others pursued the men as they went to leave the scene.
It was around a corner on Morgan Ave. North's 1400 block when three suspects and protesters clashed, gunfire erupting.
One says he told the crowd, "Don't follow them, they got a gun, don't chase 'em."
According to police scanner audio from the incident, officers reported seeing a Silver Chevy Trailblazer or Chevy Envoy "speed off from the area."
A statement from the Minneapolis Police Department says officers responded "almost immediately" after the call of shots fired came in around 10:40 p.m. Monday.
"Dozens of officers responded almost immediately attending to victims and secured the scene. Additional resources were called in and are actively investigating the shootings, interviewing a multitude of witnesses. The Police Department is working to identify suspects. The police are asking that anyone with information to please come forward."
Three victims were transported by civilian car to North Memorial Medical Center, and two were taken by ambulance to Hennepin County Medical Center.
Monday was the eighth day since the police shooting of Clark, a 24-year-old black Minneapolis resident who was transported to a hospital, and put on life support, but later died. Protesters have encamped outside the Fourth Precinct since that morning, issuing a number of demands of the Minneapolis Police Department. Some of those demands have already been met, like the release of officers' names — Dustin Schwarze and Mark Ringgenber were identified as the officers involved — and the opening of a federal investigation into Clark's death.
But demonstrators have continued to call for immediate release of surveillance camera video they say will verify eyewitness accounts that Clark was both unarmed and handcuffed when someone fired the fatal headshot. Authorities have repeatedly declined that demand, and reiterated their reasoning in a joint statement from the U.S. Attorney's Office and the FBI on Friday:
"Release of any evidence, including any video, during an ongoing investigation would be extremely detrimental to the investigation. We are conducting our investigation in a fair, thorough, and expeditious manner.”
Following the shooting, Eddie Sutton, Jamar Clark's brother, put out a statement through the office of DFL U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison, asking that protesters end their demonstration at the Fourth Precinct for their own safety.
"We appreciate Black Lives Matter for holding it down and keeping the protests peaceful," Sutton said. "But in light of tonight’s shootings, the family feels out of imminent concern for the safety of the occupiers, we must get the occupation of the 4th precinct ended and onto the next step.”
Calls for calm, or even for protesters to go home, are expected to fall on deaf ears after the shooting. Students are planning a walkout at Minneapolis high schools Tuesday morning, and a march in north Minneapolis is still set to take place Tuesday afternoon, with BLM leaders asserting they would not be intimidated by the shooters.
A funeral for Jamar Clark, the young man whose death sparked more than a week of protests, is scheduled for Wednesday. <!——————————EndFragment——————————>
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