WASHINGTON, D.C. (Nov. 19, 2015) — U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison (MN-5) issued the following statement on the investigation into the death of Jamar Clark:
“I extend my deepest sympathies to the family and friends of Mr. Jamar Clark. My heart breaks for the tragedy of losing a young man from our community.
“We must all be committed to establish the facts of what happened in the interest of justice. I commend Mayor Hodges for meeting with the community and quickly calling for independent investigations by the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension and by the federal government. I also asked US Attorney General Loretta Lynch to investigate what happened and determine if there were civil rights or criminal violations. The Department of Justice and FBI accepted our requests to complete this review. This independent review is a crucial step to begin to rebuild trust between law enforcement and our whole community.
“In calling for these investigations, we all need to bear in mind that quality investigations take time. All parties involved in this incident deserve a full review of the facts. We need to respect Mr. Clark’s family and the officers’ rights to due process. I urge anyone having information bearing on the events surrounding the death of Jamar Clark to come forward immediately.
“I support the rights of everyone who is protesting to support Mr. Clark’s family and to call for answers. I urge protestors to exercise this right in a safe, peaceful manner that protects themselves and the community. I also urge police to exercise restraint and avoid escalation.
“I urge the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension and the Department of Justice to release video or audio recordings in their possession of the incident that resulted in Mr. Clark’s death. This would send a message to our community that the process will be transparent and open.
“But how do we move forward to make things better in our community? I call on all of us to be our best selves and move beyond anger to dialogue and problem solving. This is the only way forward. We must come together to heal our community and work together toward justice and fairness. I call on demonstrators to remain peaceful, and on law enforcement to exercise restraint.”