Protesters march downtown Mpls.
Published 10:17 am Monday, December 21, 2015
By Peter Cox
Group demands justice for death of Clark
About 300 protesters marched from the north side of Minneapolis to the city’s downtown Saturday afternoon, protesting the fatal police shooting of Jamar Clark last month.
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The shooting prompted an 18-day protest and encampment outside the Minneapolis Police Department’s 4th Precinct in Minneapolis. The encampment was cleared out by police on Dec. 3.
Saturday’s march, organized by the Twin Cities Coalition for Justice 4 Jamar Clark, began at the 4th Precinct building.
Mel Reeves, a longtime community activist, said the coalition includes several groups, including church leaders, members of the Minneapolis NAACP and Black Lives Matter Minneapolis.
“Our primary demand is prosecution of the police — and we don’t want a grand jury,” Reeves said. “We want (Hennepin County Attorney) Mike Freeman to do like he does to a lot of young people in our neighborhood, to indict the police for whatever he wants to charge — manslaughter, second degree murder. They clearly committed a crime and we want to see them indicted for it.”
Reeves pointed to some witness accounts that Clark was handcuffed when he was shot. The head of the Minneapolis police union has said Clark was not handcuffed and was trying to take away an officer’s gun when he was shot.
Police blocked traffic for Saturday’s march, which wound through downtown, making several stops where speakers stood on the back of a truck and addressed the crowd.
Black Lives Matter Minneapolis leader Michael McDowell said protesters will continue their demonstrations until their demands are met.
“We’re saying if we don’t get justice for Jamar Clark, if those tapes aren’t released, if we don’t get an independent prosecutor, if we don’t get no grand jury, then our ‘or else’ is we’re going back to the Mall of America,” he said.
Black Lives Matter Minneapolis announced plans to demonstrate at the Mall of America on Wednesday. The group did the same thing last year, when around 1,500 protesters showed up and two dozen were arrested.