MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The Latest on the federal investigation into whether the civil rights of a young black man who was shot by Minneapolis police were violated (all times local):
The attorney for a Minneapolis police officer who fatally shot a man last fall says the officer and his partner have been vindicated by a federal prosecutor’s decision not to file criminal civil rights charges against them.
Dustin Schwarze and Mark Ringgenberg were the officers involved in a fatal confrontation last November with 24-year-old Jamar Clark. The officers said Clark was struggling with Ringgenberg and had his hand on the officer’s gun when Schwarze shot him.
U.S. Attorney Andrew Luger announced Wednesday that he would bring no charges against the men due to insufficient evidence.
Schwarze’s attorney, Fred Bruno, says the decision was no surprise after a state prosecutor reached the same conclusion in March. Bruno says the chances of two independent investigations arriving at the same result are slim unless the officers’ actions were justified.
Minnesota’s U.S. attorney says no federal civil rights charges will be filed against two Minneapolis police officers in last fall’s shooting death of a black man.
Andrew Luger says there is insufficient evidence to support charges against the officers, who had a lethal confrontation with 24-year-old Jamar Clark last November.
Luger is the second prosecutor to decline to file charges in Clark’s death, following Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman’s announcement in March.
Clark’s death set off weeks of protests on the city’s north side, where some witnesses said Clark was handcuffed when he was shot. Freeman said forensic evidence backed up the officers’ account that Clark was not handcuffed and that he had his hand on an officer’s gun when he was shot.
Community groups who have protested the fatal shooting of a young black man by Minneapolis police say they are barred from attending a news conference at which federal officials will announce whether the victim’s civil rights were violated.
Nekima Levy-Pounds says it’s unacceptable that government leaders would exclude those who have been working for justice for Jamar Clark from the news conference Wednesday.
The death of the 24-year-old Clark last November sparked weeks of largely peaceful protests and the occupation of a north side police precinct.
U.S. Department of Justice spokesman Ben Petok says the news conference is for credentialed members of the media only. Petok says community groups have been invited to a meeting at federal offices Wednesday afternoon.
Federal officials in Minneapolis are set to announce whether they believe the civil rights of a 24-year-old black man were violated last November in a confrontation with two police officers during which he was fatally shot.
Officials will make the announcement Wednesday in the case of Jamar Clark. His death sparked weeks of protests and an 18-day occupation outside a police precinct.
Some onlookers said Clark was handcuffed when he was shot. But Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman declined to charge the officers. He said forensic evidence backed their accounts that Clark wasn’t handcuffed and had his hand on an officer’s gun.
The law sets a high bar to charge officers for a civil rights violation. An accident, bad judgment or simple negligence isn’t enough.
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Federal officials in Minneapolis will announce Wednesday whether they believe the civil rights of a 24-year-old black man were violated last November in a confrontation with two police officers that led to his death.
An officer shot Jamar Clark Nov. 15, and he died a day later. His death sparked weeks of protests and an 18-day occupation outside a north side police precinct.
A key issue was whether Clark was handcuffed at the time of the shooting. Several witnesses said he was; police said he was not.
The confrontation that led to Clark’s death began when police were called by paramedics who said he was interfering with their efforts to treat an assault victim. Officers Mark Ringgenberg and Dustin Schwarze responded.
According to an investigation by the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, Clark refused orders to take his hands out of his pockets. The officers tried to handcuff him but failed. Ringgenberg wrestled Clark to the ground but wound up on his back atop Clark and felt Clark’s hand on his weapon, according to the investigation.
Schwarze then shot Clark in an encounter that lasted barely more than a minute from the time officers first arrived.
In March, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman declined to file criminal charges against the officers. He cited forensic evidence in the BCA investigation that found no bruising of Clark’s wrists that handcuffs would likely have caused and found Clark’s DNA on Ringgenberg’s gun. Freeman also cited conflicting accounts by witnesses about whether Clark was cuffed.
Mayor Betsy Hodges requested the civil rights investigation, conducted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Minnesota and the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. They will determine whether the officers intentionally violated Clark’s civil rights through excessive force. That’s a high legal standard because an accident, bad judgment or simple negligence is not enough to bring federal charges.
The DOJ is also reviewing how the city responded to the protests that followed Clark’s death, which included some skirmishes between officers and protesters.
An internal police investigation is also expected once the results of the federal investigation are released.
(Photo Source: AP)
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