MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – For the sixth day, protests continue outside Minneapolis’ 4th precinct.
Protesters continue to demand answers in the fatal shooting of 24-year-old Jamar Clark.
Things were quieter Thursday night as several political and religious leaders joined Black Lives Matter Minneapolis to show solidarity with protesters and echo their call for video of the arrest to be released.
Despite the peaceful nature of the group, one act of vandalism led to two arrests.
Minneapolis police said around 11 p.m. protesters were spray painting profanities on the building.
Video shows officers sprinting after one of the protesters and firing rounds from, what appears to be, a non-lethal chalk marker used to identify the suspects later.
Police arrested two men who face possible charges of felony damage to property.
This damage was minimal compared to Wednesday evening.
Minneapolis Police Chief Janee Harteau estimates roughly $38,000 worth of damage was caused in Wednesday night’s protests.
She said protesters threw hundreds of rocks and more than a dozen large bricks. Twelve squad cars and two portable cameras were damaged.
Later, police said it was likely anarchists from outside the community who threw three Molotov cocktails.
Thursday was much calmer, as hundreds gathered for what turned out to be part protest, press conference and dance party. They continued their call for video of the shooting to be released.
The police department has said that footage is not theirs to release and that it will not do anything to jeopardize the outside investigation.
Representative Keith Ellison was among the political leaders who spoke to the crowd Thursday.
Congressman Ellison asked for protesters to acknowledge how quickly their previous demands were met, including a state and federal investigation into the shooting, the identification of the officers and getting grief counselling to Clark’s family. But Ellison says more needs to be done, including the release of the videos.
He spoke after a picture of his son has been circulating social media. It shows police pointing what appears to be a weapon at his son’s face.
Police fired back and said the officer is pointing what’s referred to as a launcher to the side of his son at people throwing rocks at police.
It fires chalk to mark the troublemakers.
The chief said she’s proud of her officers’ actions and the restraint they’ve shown.
The head of the police union questioned the leadership of the mayor and city council. He believes the mayor sympathizes with protestors because she wants their votes.
“The officers are under siege, and at first they weren’t even allowed to put on helmets and batons. And as a police supervisor, I would never have allowed people to go out there without helmets and batons because it looked intimidating. You’re not going to risk the officers’ safety because of the appearance of a militaristic look. That’s poor leadership,” Head of Police Federation of Minneapolis Robert Kroll said.
“I am incredibly proud of the officers and their actions. I have not seen anything that would demonstrate to me that they haven’t responded appropriately and with maximum restraint. But they’re tired. I think the emotions are charged on both sides, but at the end of the day they’re professional, they love this city, and they want to make sure everyone is safe.” Harteau said.
The group Black Lives Matters is also calling for a civil rights investigation into what they call abuses of peaceful protesters during Wednesday night’s unrest.
They said police used unnecessary violence and harassed protesters.
In a statement, Black Lives Matter Minneapolis said it understands the frustration of community members who may take actions not sanctioned by the group, but said it remains committed to nonviolent direct action.
More than a dozen protestors were already up Friday morning.
They have placed fire pits, barricades and chairs on Plymouth; blocking vehicle access to the precinct. One man also threw a chair towards media from another local television station.
Demonstrators are planning a candlelight vigil and march at 4:30 p.m. at the 4th precinct.