UPDATED: Thursday, March 31 9:46 AM EST
Dozens of protesters rallied Wednesday after prosecutors in Minneapolis, Minnesota failed to bring charges against officers involved in the shooting death of 24-year-old Jamar Clark, reports CNN.
Clark was African-American, and the officers involved, Mark Ringgenberg and Dustin Schwarze, are White, representing a common lament in protests against police brutality and excessive force in communities of color.
“Hey, hey, ho ho. These racist cops have got to go,” protesters chanted after the announcement by Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman, writes CNN:
The November shooting sparked demonstrations in Minneapolis, and Freeman’s announcement — which Clark’s family attended — angered community activists.
“If the city burns down,” one woman shouted at Freeman, “it’s on your hands.”
Cameron Clark, the victim’s cousin, decried the decision, saying it made “no sense to him,” the report says.
SOURCE: CNN | VIDEO CREDIT: Inform
The decision not to criminally charge Officers Mark Ringgenberg and Dustin Schwarze in connection with 24-year-old Jamar Clark’s death came after weeks of racial tension that saw an 18-day encampment outside of a police precinct and clashes between demonstrators and cops, says the report.
Opting not to use a grand jury in the case, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman said he “felt it was more transparent and more accountable.”
Clark, 24, was shot by Minneapolis police after getting into a domestic dispute with his girlfriend on Nov. 15. He was unarmed when he was approached by Ringgenberg and Schwarze. The officers claimed Clark tried to take his own life by grabbing Ringgenberg’s gun. The incident lasted just over a minute before Clark was fatally shot.
Via NBC News:
As part of the chaotic struggle, which was recounted by Freeman, Schwarze maintained control of Clark’s hand and heard Ringgenberg say, “He’s got my gun.” Schwarze said he put the gun to the edge of Clark’s mouth. “Let go or I’m going to shoot you,” he said.
“I’m ready to die,” Ringgenberg said Clark told him, according to Freeman. Schwarze heard Ringgenberg say, “Shoot him” — prompting the firing of the gun.
Schwarze was named in an excessive force lawsuit two weeks after Clark’s death.
While speaking with reporters, Freeman claimed quick judgments were made. “Nationally, this job has only become more challenging due to the lack of trust between the community and police,” Freeman said.
He recommended that all officers should use the lowest form of excessive force possible in future encounters.
SOURCE: NBC News | VIDEO CREDIT: Inform