The Minneapolis police officers involved in the fatal shooting of 24-year-old Jamar Clark will not be charged in his death, prosecutors announced Wednesday.
Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman said in a press conference that the two police officers' use of force was justified because Clark was reaching for one of their guns.
Clark was shot on November 15, 2015 while struggling with the two officers and died one day later. Witnesses on the scene said Clark was handcuffed when he was shot. The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension and the FBI had been investigating the case.
Freeman maintains there is "important corroboration" that Clark was not handcuffed based on forensics evidence finding no DNA inside the handcuffs, no bruises or injuries on Clark’s wrists.
"At the time he was shot, Clark was attempting to gain control of the [officers] firearm," Freeman said.
He described the sequence of events as one officer saying to the other, "He's got my gun," during a struggle with Clark. Following this, the officer reported that Clark said, "I'm ready to die," before he was shot. Clark had a blood alcohol level of 0.09 & THC in his system. Freeman said there is a "high bar" for charging officers in shooting.
Black Lives Matter protests calling for justice and transparency escalated in the days following Clark's death. Police said they used a chemical irritant to control the crowd after protesters threw rocks and bottles at officers.
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