MINNEAPOLIS (Nov. 25, 2015) – Rep. Keith Ellison on Wednesday said, regarding the shooting at the Minneapolis Fourth Precinct protest on Monday night, “was appalling” and is praying for the victims to have a speedy recovery.
“I demand the shooters be brought to justice, and I am relieved that three suspects have been arrested,” Ellison said. “The shooting of five black men at a protest focused on racial equity should be investigated as a hate crime.”
Ellison attended the funder for Jamar Clark on Wednesday, the 24 year-old man who was shot and killed at around 1 a.m. on Nov. 15, 2015, by two officers of the Minneapolis Police Department responded to a domestic dispute call in the residential neighborhood of James and Plymouth Ave N. in Minneapolis. According to numerous witness accounts, Clark was placed in handcuffs and slammed to the ground at the intersection of James and Plymouth Ave N. Police say he was not in handcuffs and was struggling to disarm and officer.
Governor Mark Dayton said the police video of the shooting was inconclusive but called for a third-party investigation of the incident.
“I join in the community’s mourning for Jamar Clark and for all of the Jamar Clarks who propel the protestors to demand meaningful change,” Ellison said.
Several Caucasian males were disrupting the vigil and were being pressed by the crowd back to their vehicles when the males shot into the crowd. Five people suffered non-life threatening injuries during the shooting incident on the 1400 block of Morgan Avenue North at 10:41 p.m. on Monday.
At approximately 11:20 a.m. on Tuesday, November 24th, officers with the Minneapolis Police Department made an arrest related to a shooting the previous night outside its 4th Precinct. Officers and Investigators worked non-stop throughout the night to develop suspects and leads.
A 23 year old white male was taken into custody in the City of Bloomington in relation to this case. His name will be released upon charging. The search for additional suspects continues.
The Minneapolis Police Department on Tuesday received information via social media that a group may attempt to cause a disturbance this evening in front of the Police Department’s Fourth Precinct and asking demonstrators to be vigilant and report unusual activity.
Eddie Sutton, a brother of Jamar Clark, thanked the community for the support shown to the family.
“We appreciate Black Lives Matter for holding it down and keeping the protests peaceful,” he 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.”
“Since the occupation of the Fourth Precinct, Black Lives Matter Minneapolis has achieved a great deal,” Ellison said. “They asked for and received an independent investigation by the state and federal governments. They asked for and received the release of the officers’ names. They met with Assistant Attorney General Vanita Gupta, Governor Mark Dayton, and lawyers from the Department of Justice. They also received a commitment that the tapes of Mr. Clark’s shooting will be shared with the family and made public as soon as it will not impede the investigation/
“I stood behind Black Lives Matter Minneapolis with these requests and have echoed them at every opportunity,” Ellison said. “They also held an impactful community march yesterday to raise awareness and show solidarity for justice.
“I understand the power of exercising First Amendment rights,” Ellison said. “This activism has sparked a long overdue conversation about issues facing Black Minnesotans, which I know intimately as a North Minneapolis resident. As we continue our work on these critical issues, the safety of everyone at the Fourth Precinct must be our highest priority. Monday night’s shootings are not the fault of the victims or the Black Lives Matter movement, which is committed to non-violence. But given the events of this week, there’s no denying that conditions are unsafe. Protestors and activists should continue to push for systemic change in Minnesota, but it’s time for the protest occupying the Fourth Precinct to evolve beyond the encampment.
“The changes we seek will likely take years, not weeks or months. But together, as a community, we can move forward to ensure that we all have an opportunity to live in an equitable, just, peaceful society.”