Last November, two Minneapolis police officers were responding to a request from paramedics who said a man, Jamar Clark, was hampering their ability to aid an assault victim (his girlfriend) – allegedly assaulted by Jamar Clark. At some point during an altercation with Clark, one of the officers fired a shot, killing Jamar, who was unarmed at the time.Not unexpectedly, outraged community members and representatives of Black Lives Matter staged protests for several days after Clark’s death. At one point shots were fired, and police took three people into custody.
It would appear Minneapolis may be bracing for more of the same.CNN reports, Minneapolis police Officers Mike Ringgenberg and Dustin Schwarze will not face charges in the November shooting death of 24-year-old Jamar Clark, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman said Wednesday.
Schwarze shot Clark only after Ringgenberg scuffled with the young man, during which time Clark took control of Ringgenberg’s gun and Ringgenberg told Schwarze to open fire, the prosecutor said.
Investigators concluded that the officers acted in self-defense, he said.Bracing for the possibility of more protests, Minneapolis Police Chief Janee Harteau released a message on March 24, warning activists and others that violence would not be tolerated.
“The Minneapolis Police Department has a long history of helping residents and those who visit our city exercise their First Amendment rights. It is also our responsibility to do everything in our power to keep people safe,” she said. “We will not tolerate acts of violence against anyone, and that includes acts of violence against our officers.”
Good luck with that.Jamar Clark’s death was tragic. Too many bad decisions led to his fate. But let us pray the verdict does not lead to further bad decisions in Minneapolis tonight and the days ahead.
[Note: This article was written by Michele Hickford]