MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Jamar Clark had been trying to escape a troubled past that followed him much of his life and now hangs over his death.

Clark was shot and killed by a Minneapolis police officer after an altercation early Sunday morning. But police union representatives point to Clark’s criminal history as proof that he was a bad actor, and they contend he was reaching for an officer’s gun when he was shot.

Protesters, family and friends say his troubled past is no excuse for his death. Clark spent more than three years in prison for an aggravated robbery charge.

Tim Hoag gave Clark a job at his trucking company this year. Hoag says Clark was a great employee. He echoed family members’ sentiments that Clark was trying to turn his life around.

(© Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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