MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — People in north Minneapolis are demanding answers after a man was shot by police overnight.
Police say around 12:45 a.m. Sunday, they had a report of a man assaulting a woman in the 1600 block of Plymouth Avenue. On the way, another call came in that the suspect was interfering with paramedics.
When officers arrived, police say there was a struggle, and an officer fired. Family members identify the man wounded as 24-year-old Jamar Clark.
“He said mom, they just shot that man out there,” Tequila Dillon said.
Dillon said her 10-year-old son was among those who saw an officer shoot Jamar Clark. A friend of Clark’s said he was involved in an altercation with his girlfriend. Witnesses said when an ambulance arrived to help her, Clark was standing near it. A struggle then ensued between Clark and officers, and that’s when witnesses say he was shot.
“My baby is 10-years-old. There is no way my son should have witnessed that. He shouldn’t have to come and tell me piece by piece what happened,” Dillon said.
Several witnesses on hand said that Clark’s wrists were actually handcuffed behind his back when the shot was fired.
“That man was shot in cold blood while he had his hands behind his back. That’s not right,” Kiesha Steele said.
But police and the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, who is now investigating the incident, said Clark was not handcuffed.
“There were handcuffs at the scene. Preliminarily, the suspect was not in handcuffs at the time of this. But this is part of the investigation,” Drew Evans, superintendent of the BCA, said.
Minneapolis Police Chief Janee Harteau said both officers involved are on paid administrative leave while the investigation takes place. And she’s urging witnesses and anyone with video to come forward.
“We need to know exactly what happened. We need to know the truth. Everyone involved needs that and deserves that,” Harteau said.
“What everyone around said, he was lying on the ground when they shot him in the face,” James Clark said.
Clark said he and his wife adopted Jamar when he was 4 years old. He said his wife called him at work this morning to tell him Jamar had been shot.
“He never was someone who would hurt anyone deliberately, you know,” Clark said.