MINNEAPOLIS - The President of the Minneapolis Police Union says the man shot and killed by officers Sunday was trying to take one of their weapons.
Lt. Bob Kroll, President of the Minneapolis Police Federation, told KARE 11's Lou Raguse Wednesday afternoon that Jamar Clark was trying to disarm one of the officers during a physical altercation after squads responded to reports of a domestic assault.
Kroll says handcuffs were never put on Clark, and emphasizes that his officers, identified by the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension as Mark Ringgenberg and Dustin Schwarze, have no disciplinary incidents on their records while Clark has a history of convictions, some of them violent.
Ringgenberg and Schwarze were interviewed and gave statements to the BCA Tuesday night, according to Kroll. BCA Superintendent Drew Evans promised the names of the officers would be released after their official interviews.
Ringgenberg has been a police officer for seven years, including 13 months with the Minneapolis Police Department. Schwarze also has seven years of experience as a police officer, with 13 months on the Minneapolis force. Both men are on paid administrative leave following the fatal shooting of 24-year-old Jamar Clark early Sunday morning.
An internet search reveals that Schwarze was named in two federal lawsuits in 2010 and 2011 while he was working as an officer with the Richfield Police Department. Both lawsuits, which involved an alleged entry into a home without a warrant, were dismissed by a judge, with prejudice.
Ringgenberg worked as a police officer in San Diego and Maple Grove before taking the job in Minneapolis. He was named in a lawsuit while working in San Diego for an alleged mistaken arrest, a case which also was dismissed by a judge.
Investigators say Clark was shot by police after a scuffle with the officers. Police were initially called to the scene for a domestic assault where Clark was considered the suspect. Police say Clark was interfering with medical personnel who were tending to the victim in that assault, which prompted a call to authorities. Few details have been released about what happened in that alleged assault, and Evans said they continue to compile witness statements and piece together what happened.
Evans said on Tuesday they have several videos from the scene but none show the entire incident. Several members of the community allege Clark was handcuffed when he was shot but police have disputed that claim.
The Hennepin County Medical Examiner released their report Tuesday night, which states Clark died after being shot once in the head.
A federal civil rights investigation has also been launched.