Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman announced March 16 that he will not send the case to a grand jury but will decide himself by the end of March whether or not to indict the cops. Several eyewitnesses say that cops handcuffed Clark before shooting him in the head. The cops claim he was not handcuffed, and reached for an officer’s gun.
Freeman said March 30 there would be no charges.
“For almost four months they have covered this up,” Minneapolis NAACP President Nekima Levy-Pounds told the crowd, referring to several videos of the shooting that the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension refuses to release until its investigation is complete.
“We’re here to demand the cops be prosecuted now,” said Mel Reeves, an organizer of the Twin Cities Coalition for Justice 4 Jamar. “We have to keep protesting.”
“I want to see these officers prosecuted,” James Clark, the adoptive father of Jamar Clark, told the rally. “What happened to my son could happen to anyone.”
Bill Kirvelay, whose brother Michael was killed by the police nine days after Jamar was killed, also spoke. Clark walked across the platform to shake his hand. The Kirvelays are Caucasian. Other speakers included relatives of other victims of police brutality, students, artists and representatives of groups that have organized protests since November.
Minneapolis Police Chief Janee Harteau released a violence-baiting video to the press two days before the rally warning that “anyone who violates” the law during protests “will be held accountable.” Her video included selected footage from weeks of protests that followed the shooting, highlighting confrontations between a handful of protesters and cops.
For 18 days after the shooting of Clark, protesters occupied a street in front of the Fourth Precinct police station. On Dec. 2 cops in riot gear closed down the encampment, arresting seven protesters.
“We will not let threats of violence from the chief of police stop us and shut us down,” Levy-Pounds told the crowd. “She can’t stop us from exercising our rights to free speech.”
“This rally is excellent,” Collin Robinson, a Southwest High School student, told the Militant. “We are people from all kinds of experiences and backgrounds coming together to fight for justice.”
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