In Minneapolis, two white police officers will not be facing disciplinary action in the fatal shooting of Jamar Clark, a black man who was said to have tried grabbing an officer’s gun during a struggle.
Minneapolis Chief Janeé Harteau told the Minneapolis Star Tribune that Officers Mark Ringgenberg and Dustin Shwarze were cleared of all charges in March and used force appropriately.
“Jamar Clark was not handcuffed, and the DNA evidence does show that Clark grabbed Officer Ringgenberg’s holster and gun,” Harteau said at a conference. “I have concluded that the use of deadly force in the line of duty was necessary to protect an officer from death or great bodily harm.”
The 24-year-old Clark was fatally shot last November after officers responded to a call for help from paramedics. The request for assistance stated that someone was interfering with an assault victim whom they were attempting to aid.
Although Clark was not armed, later investigation showed that he attempted to grab Riggenberg’s gun during a struggle. Some witnesses have claimed that Clark was handcuffed at the time, although the investigation indicated that he was not.
The shooting set off waves of protests throughout the city in November of 2015. More than 50 people were arrested during the second day of protests in the area, with hundreds more protesting. Mayor Betsy Hodges asked for a federal civil rights investigation of the shooting.
The two officers were placed on paid leave directly after the shooting, and Harteau reported that the officers were not wearing body cameras. Body cameras have been cited as one method to keep police officers more accountable in their administration and use of force. In a survey, 77% of officers said that they thought body cameras would be more effective than dash cameras.