MINNEAPOLIS - Saying they will occupy a Minneapolis Police precinct until they get answers, a coalition of interests is demanding the release of surveillance video that may shed light on the officer-involved shooting of Jamar Clark.
The group, which includes members of Black Lives Matter Minneapolis, the NAACP and activists from the neighborhood, is accusing two Minneapolis Police officers of murder in the shooting of Clark, who had been involved in a domestic dispute with a woman early Sunday morning. Police say when they arrived on the scene on the 1600 block of Plymouth Avenue North Clark was confronting a crew of paramedics. Officers then became involved in a scuffle with the suspect and he was shot.
While officials at Hennepin County Medical Center have not released a condition on Clark, family members told KARE 11 Clark was taken off life-support Monday night.
"I love my son and for him to die like that, being shot (by police) that's bad. The police don't care, the mayor don't care, because they're going to cover up for each other," said James Hill, Jamar's father.
A spokesperson for Black Lives Matter is calling for members of the community to join in what she is calling the "occupation" of the Minneapolis Police 4th Precinct, which covers the city's north side. Kandace Montgomery says it will continue until police release a surveillance tape that may have captured what led to the shooting of Clark, a shooting that those holding the press conference claim occurred with the suspect handcuffed and laying in the street. Activists are also asking for the release of the names of the two officers involved in the shooting.
Police have disputed that account, saying misinformation is being spread about the shooting. The state Bureau of Criminal Apprehension is investigating.
The death of a young black man at the hands of police opens up old wounds for Bettie Smith. Her son Quincy died after being tasered by Minneapolis officers back in 2008. "We need answers, we need accountability," Smith said, her voice rising in anger. "You murder someone, you are accountable," she insisted, referring to the officers involved in the altercation with Clark.
Neighborhood resident and activist John Martin tried to provide a calming voice, urging everyone to refrain from violence. That being said, he is insistent that answers come quickly. "We want to know what happened, when it happened, and why it happened," Martin said. "We are sick of listening sessions... It's time for action."