Forensic evidence backs the Officer’s story
Two Minneapolis police officers will not face state criminal charges in the fatal shooting of Jamar Clark, an unarmed black man, the prosecutor in Hennepin County said Wednesday. The announcement upset activists who had called for the officers to be prosecuted, and provided new details about the events leading up to the shooting.
Mr. Clark’s death prompted weeks of heated, sometimes tense demonstrations, and raised broad questions about racial disparities in Minnesota. Protests started almost immediately after Mr. Clark, 24, was shot on Nov. 15 as officers responded to a report of an assault.
The police said at the time that Mr. Clark was a suspect in the assault and that he had tried to interfere with paramedics treating the woman who was hurt. Some neighbors who say they witnessed the incident claim Mr. Clark was handcuffed when he was shot, contradicting the police account.
In announcing his decision, Mike Freeman, the Hennepin County attorney, said that witnesses had given conflicting accounts about the handcuffs. The evidence, he said, suggested that Mr. Clark had tried to gain control over one officer’s gun and that he had not been handcuffed when shot.
“Forensic evidence and video evidence both support the belief that Clark was not handcuffed at any time through the altercation,” said Mr. Freeman, whose office posted a trove of investigative documents online….
After the shooting in November, which was investigated by the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, activists occupied an area outside a police precinct for more than two weeks, sometimes clashing with officers. On one night, a group of outsiders came to the precinct, police said, andshot five people during a protest.