The fatal police shooting of an unarmed black man in Minnesota last year was declared justified and will not result in any charges against the two officers involved, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman announced Wednesday. Jamar Clark, 24, was killed in the early hours of Nov. 16, 2015, in north Minneapolis during a struggle with law enforcement.

According to Freeman, who provided an official timeline of the incident before announcing his findings, Clark was engaged in a physical altercation with a woman at a party. When he resisted being handcuffed, a struggle ensued and police took Clark down to the ground, at which point he was able to grab the officer’s service weapon, Freeman said.

Another officer on the scene responded and warned Clark to drop the gun, at which point Clark reportedly said, “I’m ready to die.” That second police officer then shot Clark, inflicting what would turn out to be a fatal wound.

“Clark was shot approximately 61 seconds” after police responded to the scene, Freeman said.

Protests of the decision are planned for 5 p.m. local time (6 p.m. EDT) Wednesday in north Minneapolis and 6 p.m. in downtown Minneapolis, reported the Star Tribune. Social justice movement Black Lives Matter staged a series of protests following the shooting, including one on Black Friday, the busiest shopping day of the year, at the Mall of America, the nation's largest shopping complex that is located near Minneapolis.

The series of events leading to Clark’s death were disputed among local activists when it happened and resulted in a series of protests and demonstrations demanding police release video footage and details of the shooting. They were not released until Wednesday.

Freeman said he based his accounts on witness testimony and police reports.

There are conflicting eyewitness accounts that Clark was handcuffed, Freeman said. Of the 20 civilian witnesses, two said Clark was not cuffed, six were uncertain and 12 were sure that he was handcuffed. Those 12, Freeman said, disagreed on whether he was cuffed behind his back or in front of him, and some said just one hand was restrained.

An autopsy determined that Clark was killed from a gunshot wound to the head, and that he had a high levels of alcohol and THC (marijuana) in his blood, Freeman said. The prosecutor added, “there was no evidence of injuries from handcuffs.” Initial reports indicated that Clark was shot while handcuffed.

A lack of visible injuries, and other forensic evidence showed he was not cuffed, said Freeman. He added that if Clark were handcuffed behind his back, there’s no way he could have grabbed the gun, which he said forensic evidence shows Clark did.

"Criminal charges are not warranted," the prosecutor said.

After announcing the official findings, Freeman was questioned by reporters on the timeline he provided; some expressed doubt that the entire series of events could have unfolded in barely more than a minute. When pressed for more information, Freeman admitted that no one aside from the officers heard Clark say he was "ready to die."


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