MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – The Minneapolis chapter of the NAACP held a press conference Thursday morning to discuss the shooting of Jamar Clark. Shortly after 11:30 a.m. Thursday, the president of the Minneapolis chapter of the NAACP, Nekima Levy-Pounds, once again outlined the community’s demands following Clark’s death.
Clark, 24, was shot early Sunday morning when Minneapolis police responded to a call of a domestic assault. Police said Clark, who they said was the suspect in the call, was shot when he attempted to reach for an officer’s gun. Witnesses dispute this claim and have said Clark was in handcuffs when he was shot.
Protests began Monday evening, when members of Black Lives Matter closed down portions if I-94W near downtown Minneapolis.
They continued outside of the Minneapolis 4th precinct, as groups have set up tents and tarps outside of the precinct.
On Wednesday, shortly after 1:30 p.m. officers from the Minneapolis 4th precinct attempted to remove protesters from the area.
The situation escalated when someone threw a portion of a brick in the direction of the building, leading officers to fire what is called a “marking round” at him. Police also said they had to spray chemical irritant after having rocks and bottles thrown at them.
From Sky4, WCCO also saw damage to squad cars in the 4th precinct parking lot. Police said this was caused by protesters throwing bricks.
After an eventful evening, demonstrations have been peaceful Thursday but tensions have remained high.
Shortly before noon, Levy-Pounds was joined by Stephen Green, the director of the Youth and College Division of the National NAACP, Reverend Nazim B. Fakir, from St. Peter AME Church in South Minneapolis,and community members.
“What happened to Jamar Clark is just the tip of the iceberg, in terms of the abuse and harassment that members of the Northside community in particular, and throughout the Minneapolis community, have faced,” Levy-Pounds said.
Levy-Pounds called once again for videos of the arrest to be made public. She said that while some of their requests have been met, Minneapolis officials still refuse to release the videos.
She also asked that grief counselors be made available to the witnesses who she said are scared after Sunday’s events.
“It’s a tale of two cities. It’s the best of times if you’re white and the worst of times if you’re black,” Levy-Pounds said.
As she spoke, she also called for restraint from the police when it comes to the protesters, but police say members of Black Lives Matter weren’t the only ones outside the 4th Precinct.
“We believe people from outside the community are coming in to perpetrate violence,” Minneapolis Police Chief Janée Harteau said at a press conference Thursday. “As you know, we have a history of helping to facilitate peaceful demonstrations.”
Wednesday night’s tensions between protesters and police brought the national NAACP youth and college director to Minneapolis. Green arrived Thursday morning from Baltimore. He announced during the press conference that the president of the national NAACP will also be traveling to Minneapolis and set to arrive Thursday evening.
Green said their presence is to show that they stand in solidarity with Minneapolis NAACP. He called for people to join the group in a march and candlelight vigil at 4:30 p.m. Friday.
“We are watching. We are observing,” Green said. “It may be cold but our hearts are burning for justice. We will not be silent and we will not be moved.”
He said the public’s trust in law enforcement has been broken.
As the day moves on, more Clark supporters are returning to the Minneapolis 4th police precinct. The police sign has been replaced with their messages of #JusticeForJamar and Black Lives Matter.