Jamar Clark, killed by Minneapolis police last month, led officers on a high-speed chase while driving a stolen car in July.
The chase reached speeds of up to 70 miles per hour on Minneapolis residential streets with two juveniles in the back seat of the car. It ended when Clark crashed into an apartment building about 10 p.m. July 29. When Clark repeatedly refused to be handcuffed, an officer hit him once in the face, according to documents obtained by the Star Tribune.
Clark was arrested and charged with fleeing a peace officer in a motor vehicle. The documents said Clark claimed excessive use of force during his arrest.
In an interview with a police force review supervisor shortly afterward, Clark said he got out of the car with his hands up and one of the officers tackled him for no reason, the documents said. Clark said he guessed he’d been tackled because “they had just been in a car chase and the officer didn’t know what they were going to do.”
Clark added that the officers choked him until he had a seizure in a similar manner to Eric Garner, a man who died last year when a New York City police officer put him in a chokehold for nearly 20 seconds.
The supervisor said he viewed dash-camera video from the arrest and it didn’t show the officer hitting Clark more than once.
The Police Department’s Internal Affairs Unit continues to investigate the use of force in the July arrest, which is standard procedure. The documents identify the officers as Troy Carlson and Benjamin Bauer, assigned to the Fourth Precinct. The department couldn’t complete a request for information about them Tuesday.
They are not the same officers involved in the Nov. 15 shooting that killed Clark, 24. His death following a scuffle with officers Dustin Schwarze and Mark Ringgenberg has prompted weeks of protest outside the Fourth Precinct headquarters and attracted the attention of national civil rights leaders. The state Bureau of Criminal Apprehension and the U.S. Department of Justice are investigating.
The Nov. 15 confrontation came when police responded to a disturbance in the 1600 block of Plymouth Avenue N. Police have said Clark was interfering with paramedics tending to his injured girlfriend.
Witnesses have maintained that Clark was in handcuffs when an officer shot him in the head. Police counter that Clark had his hand on an officer’s gun. Schwarze and Ringgenberg have been on paid administrative leave since the fatal shooting.
Video from July
Officers on patrol the night of July 29 saw a stolen car, driven by Clark, and attempted to stop him. He continued to evade officers and showed little or no regard for traffic laws or public safety, the documents said.
Clark crashed the car into an apartment building in the 1500 block of Logan Avenue N. The dash-camera video and squad car audio, obtained by WCCO-TV, showed Clark raising his hands as he exited the car. No excessive force was captured by the video.
The Police Department issued a statement Tuesday saying it did not release the video to WCCO-TV.
In squad car audio of Clark after he was placed under arrest, obtained by WCCO-TV, he said he was “choked out” by the officers and punched seven times. He also said he feared being killed by police, telling the officers he didn’t want to die.
The supervising officer was called to the scene shortly after the officers reported use of force in Clark’s arrest. In the incident report obtained by the Star Tribune, the supervising officer said he reviewed the squad video.
It showed officer Carlson tackling Clark, one hand on his gun and his other arm pinning him to the ground, the document said.
Clark tried repeatedly to get to his feet and “refused to give up,” the report said. Bauer said he punched Clark once in the face and placed him in handcuffs. Afterward, Clark appeared to be unconscious and was monitored by an officer, the report said.
Before the chase, Clark said he attempted to buy marijuana from two juveniles, ages 13 and 15, who were on bicycles, the report said.
Clark attended an Aug. 3 court hearing regarding that arrest. His attorney, Ryan Anderson, requested a conditional release without bond. Clark had just interviewed for a second job, and Anderson said he would be working often, according to a court transcript.
Anderson mentioned that Clark had a history of seizures, and said he had one just before he was arrested.
Staff writer Beena Raghavendran contributed to this report.