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.

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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.

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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.

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