A Minnesota prosecutor announced Wednesday that the two Minneapolis police officers involved in the fatal shooting of a black man in November will not be charged.
Officers Mark Ringgenberg and Dustin Schwarze were called to the scene after paramedics called for help, reporting that an assault suspect, Jamar Clark, was interfering with their ability to treat the victim.
Clark refused to show the police his hands, keeping them in his pockets and making it difficult for Ringgenberg to get the suspect in handcuffs. During the struggle, Clark got his hands on the officer’s gun.
“He’s got my gun,” Ringgenberg said. Schwarze reported that he shot Clark to save the lives of everyone on the scene.
After the incident, 20 witnesses gave different versions of what they saw, some claiming that Clark was handcuffed, some saying that he was not.
Protests flared up in Minneapolis following the shooting, including an 18-day encampment outside a police precinct. Black Lives Matter activists are enraged at was seems to be, yet again, another shooting of an unarmed black man, and a discriminatory verdict.
“This case is not at all similar to some of those seen around the country,” Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman said in support of his decision not to charge the officers. “These officers were called upon to respond to a person who had assaulted his girlfriend and interfered with paramedics who were trying to assist her.”
Several videos were recorded at the scene of the shooting though none of them provide a clear picture of whether or not the suspect was handcuffed.
Still, protesters demand that the videos be released to the public. Although studies have shown that Internet users only read slightly more than a quarter of the content found on a web page, protesters hope that with the release of the video, the story will reach a broader audience and act as a stronger catalyst for change.