MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — It’s happened nearly each night of the occupation at Minneapolis’ 4th Precinct. Black Lives Matter protesters say white supremacists cruise by, shoot video and scope out the crowds.
Reporter Lorena Delacuesta sensed trouble Monday night, just before a shooting sent five protesters to the hospital.
“These three guys come, three white men, covering their faces and they started arguing with the protesters,” Delacuesta said.
At 10:41 p.m., three masked men began shouting. Wesley Martin was among those who escorted them away.
Suddenly, shots rang out.
“I heard the N word and that’s when everybody started charging,” he said. “And we get to 14th and Morgan [avenues], and all I heard was pow…pow, pow, pow, pow, pow.”
Martin was shot in the leg, and his brother was also hit.
On Tuesday, a Black Lives Matter spokesperson said the violence directed at protesters only strengthens the occupation.
“What happened last night was a planned hate crime, an act of terrorism,” the spokesperson said.
By early afternoon, police had arrested two men they believe are responsible.
Minneapolis police arrested a 23-year-old white man in Bloomington around noon. A half-hour later, a 32-year-old Hispanic man was arrested in south Minneapolis.
Despite his injury, Martin returned to the protest at the 4th Precinct. It was his way of saying the cause won’t buckle to fear.
“It just went through muscle…I don’t care if I be in a wheelchair,” he said. “I’ll still be out here.”
At Tuesday’s protest, Black Lives Matter organizers asked that no one wear masks, for safety reasons. It helped set the tone for what organizers are calling a joyful, yet sorrow-filled night.
Cameron Clark was one of the victims of the shooting. He was at the precinct protesting the shooting of his cousin, Jamar Clark
“We were just asking them what’s going on,” Clark said. “They didn’t say anything. The guy in all black just opened fire on us.”
Clark was shot in the leg and foot after escorting several masked men away from the precinct.
“I’m hurting. My community needs me,” he said. “I need them and I’m not going to lay down.”
Clark left the hospital Tuesday and joined hundreds of others for a memorial concert. Black Lives Matter Minneapolis and the NAACP said they “have come together to host a day of celebration, a day of mourning and a day of community after we face this horrific tragedy last night.”
The names of the men arrested will be released when they are charged, possibly on Wednesday.
The protesters have been camping out at the 4th Precinct since the fatal shooting of 24-year-old Jamar Clark. Protesters say Clark was in handcuffs when Minneapolis police officers shot him in the head. Police dispute that claim.