ST. PAUL, Minn. - Minnesota's Governor and the mayor of Minneapolis are meeting Friday afternoon with national and local leaders of the NAACP in an effort to ease the racial tensions ignited by the death of a black man at the hands of two police officers.
The meeting was called after six days of unrest in the wake of the shooting of 24-year-old Jamar Clark. As hostilities, rhetoric and demonstrations at the fourth police precinct have escalated, the eyes of the nation have increasingly been on Minneapolis and its long-simmering racial wounds.
NAACP National President Cornell William Brooks, Minnesota NAACP President WC Jordan, Minneapolis NAACP President Nekima Levy-Pounds and St. Paul NAACP President Jeff Martin were all seen walking into the Governor's mansion around 1 p.m. Friday to sit down with Mr. Dayton and Betsy Hodges, who earlier this week agreed to put federal authorities in charge of the officer-involved shooting of Clark.
A candlelight vigil and march is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. Friday at the fourth precinct, the site of violent episodes in recent nights. Both activists and police have blamed each other for escalating violence, but both sides have also sounded calls for restraint and respect during protests.