MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Gov. Mark Dayton offered his condolences in person Saturday evening to the family of a man who was fatally shot by police.
Jamar Clark’s family joined local leaders of Black Lives Matter along with Congressman Keith Ellison, an Assistant U.S. Attorney and a representative of Neighborhoods Organizing for Change for a meeting with the governor about the ongoing protests at the Minneapolis Police Department’s 4th Precinct, where protesters have been camping for nearly a week.
The activists want the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension to release video showing the fatal shooting that left 24-year-old Clark dead early Sunday morning. He was unarmed, but a leader of the city’s police union said Clark was reaching for an officer’s firearm right before police shot him. Protesters dispute that claim.
Leaders of Black Lives Matter Minneapolis, along with several city council members and NAACP leaders, have called on Gov. Dayton to compel the release of the tapes, but the governor and other law enforcement officials say that would jeopardize the integrity of the BCA’s investigation.
“I will urge that the tapes be provided to the family and released to the public, as soon as doing so will not jeopardize the Department of Justice’s investigation,” Gov. Dayton said in a statement after Saturday’s meeting.
Gov. Dayton also said attorneys from the DOJ will be flying to Minnesota Sunday, and that he hoped they could meet with local leaders of Black Lives Matter Minneapolis and Clark’s family.
“I will also urge the Department of Justice lawyers and the U.S. Attorney to investigate any matters, which occurred in Minneapolis during the past week that may have violated the civil rights of any Minnesota citizens,” Gov. Dayton said in the statement.
In response, Minneapolis Police Chief Janée Harteau said she’s confident any investigation into her officer’s conduct will find no wrongdoing:
“I’ve been in law enforcement for 29 years, and I’ve never seen more professionalism from police officers than has been displayed in Minneapolis at the 4th Precinct this week. I fully support the actions of my officers. Any investigation, federal, state, or county into my officers’ conduct at the 4th Precinct during this time will only confirm the strength of the work my officers did protecting both public safety and the freedom of speech.”