Five people were shot Monday night near a site of an ongoing protest over the fatal shooting of an unarmed black man by a white police officer in Minneapolis, a police spokesman reportedly said. Jamar Clark was shot on Nov. 15 during a scuffle with police after he interfered with paramedics who were assisting an assault victim.
Minneapolis Police Department spokesman John Elder told the Associated Press (AP) that all five protesters, who were shot, suffered non life-threatening injuries. The shootings occurred near an alley about a block away from the 4th Precinct station, where people from the Black Lives Matter group conducted a sit-in over Clark’s shooting death.
Clark's brother Eddie Sutton issued a statement early Tuesday calling for an end to the sit-in "out of imminent concern" for protesters' safety.
Protesters and Clark's family have urged investigators to release the video of the shooting.
Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton reportedly said Monday that he has watched the video of Clark’s shooting and that it doesn’t confirm either side’s allegations.
While eye witnesses say that Clark was in handcuffs when he was shot by police, the head of the police union says Clark was not handcuffed and had gained control of an officer’s weapon.
The head of Minneapolis National Association for the Advancement of Colored People said in a statement that Dayton’s comments “merely reinforces the public's need to see the videotape for themselves and to draw their own conclusions, rather than relying upon the perspective of one government official who is not a trained expert in this field.”
“The Governor's statement also disturbingly calls into question the veracity of statements from witnesses who have already cooperated with state and federal authorities in presenting their versions of what happened and may deter other witnesses from coming forward out of fear of not having their stories be believed,” Nekima Levy-Pounds said, in the statement. “This is unacceptable and weakens the potential for a fair, transparent, and balanced investigation. Thus, the Minneapolis NAACP stands in solidarity with those demanding immediate release of the videotapes surrounding this incident. #releasethetapes.”
On Monday, U.S. Attorney's Office spokesman Ben Petok said that his office and the FBI are working with the U.S. Department of Justice to determine if there were any criminal civil rights violations during the shooting of Clark.