MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – An independent investigation is underway after a Minneapolis police officer shot a man early Sunday morning on the city’s north side.
The Minneapolis Police Department said the shooting happened during a struggle around 1 a.m. on the 1600 block of Plymouth Avenue North.
Officers had responded to a help call in the area after paramedics on the scene said an assault suspect wasn’t allowing them to treat a victim.
Police say a struggle with the suspect ensued and he was shot.
Officials have yet to release the suspect’s name, but family identified him as 24-year-old Jamar Clark.
They say Clark is on life support at Hennepin County Medical Center.
At a press conference Sunday afternoon, Chief Janee Harteau said she’s asked for the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension to conduct an independent investigation into the shooting.
“We need to know exactly what happened, we need to know the truth,” she said. “Everyone involved needs that and deserves that.”
Mayor Betsy Hodges was also at the press conference. She added that although the timeline of the investigation is currently unknown, it will be as “expeditious as possible.”
“The investigators will follow the facts wherever they lead,” she said.
According to police, a preliminary investigation showed that the suspect was not handcuffed at the time of the shooting.
However, community members in north Minneapolis were quick to dispute that. They say that Clark was in handcuffs when an officer shot him.
Community member Tequila Dillon said her 10-year-old son saw the whole scene unfold.
“He don’t want to sleep, he don’t want to go to sleep whatsoever,” Dillon said. “It is going to be a tough day, and [police] need to do something about it.”
The police department says two officers are now on paid administrative leave, which is standard procedure following an officer-involved shooting. The officers have yet to be identified.
Following the shooting, the hashtag #JamesandPlymouth started trending on Twitter. Users expressed concern over police violence and called for Hodges and Harteau to explain what happened.
The group Black Lives Matter Minneapolis also held a press conference on Sunday, demanding justice for Clark. The activists plan to march in the afternoon from the scene of the shooting to downtown Minneapolis.
Drew Evans, the superintendent of the BCA, said the agency is seeking to speak with witnesses. He said those who saw the shooting, especially people with video, should call the BCA at 651-793-7000.
When asked at the press conference if the suspect was handcuffed, Evans said handcuffs were at the scene, but it’s too soon to tell what exactly happened.
“Our agents will examine all the facts in the case,” he said, “and determine exactly how the subject was at the time of the shooting.”