Jamar Clark, the unarmed man shot early Sunday by Minneapolis police, sparking two days of angry protest, has died.
Friends of Clark’s family said Tuesday morning that he had been removed from life support and that family members were making funeral arrangements.
The Hennepin County medical examiner said Clark, 24, died on Monday evening as the result of a single gunshot to the head.
The two officers involved in the shooting, who haven’t been identified, were expected to give statements to the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) Tuesday night, said Lt. Bob Kroll, president of the police union.
Kroll, who said he had talked to the officers, reiterated earlier statements from police that Clark was not in handcuffs, disputing witness accounts.
Kroll also said he “firmly believes” the officers will be exonerated of any wrongdoing.
The U.S. attorney’s office said late Tuesday that the FBI would conduct the federal investigation requested by the mayor, with an independent review of all evidence by the office as well as U.S. Department of Justice prosecutors.
At a news conference Tuesday, BCA Superintendent Drew Evans said that there are videos from the shooting but that none shows the full incident that left Clark dead. The videos came from an ambulance, a public housing building, the cellphones of bystanders and a police mobile video station. There is no video from any police car or officer body cameras. The BCA is working with a nearby Elks Lodge to examine its exterior video.
No video will be released, Evans said, until the investigation is complete, which could take two to four months. He said the video will be withheld for now because “we don’t want to taint the interviews with the witnesses.”
The time frame for such an investigation isn’t unusually long, he said. Minneapolis police contacted the BCA for assistance about nine hours after the shooting, he said. The BCA has investigated 96 police-involved shootings resulting in injury or death in Minnesota since 2009.
Evans also addressed the contention by activists that Clark was handcuffed when he was shot. There were “handcuffs at the scene, and we are still examining whether or not they were on him” when police fired, he said. Evans confirmed that Clark did not have weapons on him and said “this investigation is a top priority.”
Authorities have released vague details of the shooting. The one-page public incident report had little information and had the words “not done” in the section that describes the incident.
The incident began when paramedics responded to a call from a woman needing assistance at an apartment building in the 1600 block of Plymouth Avenue N. at 12:40 a.m. Sunday.
Kroll said it was unclear whether she had been assaulted or was injured while breaking up a fight. As she was seeking medical attention in the ambulance, Clark tried to reach her, Kroll said. The paramedics put out a “distress call” for help to police. There was a scuffle with arriving officers, he said, during which Clark was killed.
In a statement on Facebook, Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges said that she had asked for an independent investigation by the BCA and that she had requested a review by the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division and U.S. Attorney Andrew Luger’s Office, because “I believe that it is the best way to build confidence in the process for everyone involved and concerned.”
“Other requests have been made of me that are outside of my control. I have been asked to release any video of the incident, and the names of officers involved. That data is not the city’s to release,” Hodges said. “I have also been asked to fire officers involved. However, to do so is a violation of their collective-bargaining agreement and their right to due process under the law.”
The shooting of Clark ignited protests, including the arrests Monday night of dozens of activists who blocked traffic on Interstate 94 for more than two hours.
Among those arrested was Nekima Levy-Pounds, president of the NAACP’s Minneapolis chapter. She issued a statement after her release from jail that said, in part, “Blessed to have been in the company of such brave souls willing to be arrested last night, standing up for what they believe in. … These arrests were not planned in advance of the demonstration.”
More than 100 people gathered again Tuesday night outside the Police Department’s Fourth Precinct headquarters to remember Clark with statements and prayers.
“We’ve come together as a community to hold one another,” Danny Givens Jr., founder of Above Every Name ministries and a member of Black Lives Matter, told the crowd. “We represent the love of the North Side.”
Pat Crumley stood among the crowd, raising her fist with the others in a moment of silence and to ask for justice. “I’m here to underscore the need for them to hear our voices and the need for a complete and thorough investigation,” she said.
Activists also have kept up a vigil at the precinct, staying dry under tents and canopies.
Hodges said that she hears people’s frustration and that the process is going to “require patience on all of our parts, including my own.”
Gov. Mark Dayton said Tuesday that he was “very uncomfortable” that protesters had briefly closed I-94 but that he welcomed Hodges’ request for a federal inquiry.
The BCA’s Evans said his agents have been coordinating with their FBI counterparts.
The shooting prompted mourning, confusion and anger among Clark’s friends and relatives, some of whom arrived in town earlier this week from Kankakee, Ill.
Those who knew Clark, who was adopted at an early age and grew up in Minneapolis’ Hawthorne neighborhood, remembered him as a friendly, outgoing young person who was fiercely defensive of his family, according to Anna Orr, a childhood friend.
“I hope that people realize that this is a glimpse of who he was; this is not set in stone,” said Orr. “He was so many other things to so many other people, and I think that that deserves to be told as much as anything else.”
For some, the shooting evoked previous shootings of unarmed black men by Minneapolis police. Between 2011 and 2014, the last year for which complete data are available, officers were involved in at least 21 shooting incidents, in which they fired 97 total rounds, state records show. In that period, eight people have been wounded and two killed in officer-involved shootings.
Clark’s relatives said that despite several convictions for robbery and domestic assault, he had gotten his life back on track. Clark had been working for a trucking company and had started picking up shifts at a carwash, they said.
“I understand what he might have done [in the past] and all of that, but to us he was a loving young man,” said Kenya McKnight, president of the Black Women’s Business Alliance and a North Side longtime activist who has served as an unofficial spokeswoman for the family. “America has a criminal record. Minnesota has a criminal record against black people,” McKnight said. “So if we are judging people against their past, let us start at the head.”
Star Tribune staff writers Paul Walsh, Ricardo Lopez and Beatrice Dupuy contributed to this report.