MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Protesters of the Jamar Clark shooting say they were “pleasantly surprised” Wednesday night when they knocked on the door of Mayor Betsy Hodges’ home and her husband let them in.
Ashley Fairbanks, one of the protesters in a group affiliated with Black Lives Matter, says she and about 10 others went to the mayor’s home after police retook the 4th Precinct earlier in the afternoon.
She said her group was upset the mayor approved of the police action, adding that police used violence to remove the protesters, some of which had been staying in the vestibule of the building since the fatal weekend shooting.
Fairbanks said a group of about 13 protesters went to Hodges’ home when the situation at the 4th Precinct escalated. She said while the mayor wasn’t there, her husband, Gary Cunningham, let them in.
He spoke to the protesters for about 10 minutes, in what Fairbanks described as a “calm exchange.” Cunningham didn’t tell protesters where the mayor was, and when asked to contact her, he refused.
When protesters arrived at the home, there were two squad cars outside, Fairbanks said. When they left, there were around nine.
She added that protesters went to the mayor’s home in hopes of diffusing the situation at the 4th Precinct, which was the scene of a violent exchange between police and protesters Wednesday night, by getting the mayor to release the video in the Clark shooting.
Earlier in the week, the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, the state agency investigating the shooting, said they have partial video of the incident.
Since Clark was shot in the head early Sunday morning, protesters have demanded that city leaders release the video. They say that in other cities, video has been quickly released in similar situations.
Protesters have also demanded the names of the officers involved, which the BCA released Wednesday. They were identified as Mark Ringgenberg and Dustin Schwarze, who both started with Minneapolis police on the same day last September.
According to community members, Clark was fatally shot while in handcuffs. Police have disputed that. The head of the police union said Clark, who was a suspect in a domestic situation early Sunday morning, reached for an officer’s gun before he was shot.
The officers involved in the shooting are on administrative leave, which is standard procedure. Protesters have demanded that they be arrested.