MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — About 40 protesters crammed into the office of Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman on Friday to press him to prosecute two police officers who fatally shot a black man last year.
But members of the Twin Cities Coalition 4 Justice 4 Jamar Clark, referencing the 24-year-old man who was fatally shot in north Minneapolis in November, were told that Freeman was not in the office.
“We’re not asking for anything extraordinary or unusual, we’re just asking that the Hennepin County prosecutor, who prosecutes lots of folks in my neighborhood every day without grand juries, to prosecute the case,” Mel Reeves, who helped organize the protest, said afterward.
Earlier this week, the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension said it had finished its investigation into the shooting, but did not provide details of what it found. Freeman said Wednesday that his office will review the file from the BCA to make sure it’s complete and determine whether additional investigation is necessary.
Attorney Lolita Ulloa heard the several dozen protesters’ concerns Friday that a grand jury eventually would hear the case and fail to indict Minneapolis police officers Mark Ringgenberg and Dustin Schwarze, who fatally shot Clark.
“No grand juries!” the protesters chanted briefly.
Ulloa told protesters that Freeman wasn’t in the office, but was reviewing the case Friday. She said he is “putting all of his efforts into reviewing that and making sure that the determination from our office is the right one and that it is just.”
Clark was shot by a Minneapolis officer on Nov. 15 during what authorities said was a struggle and died a day later. Some who said they saw the shooting have said that Clark wasn’t struggling and was handcuffed. Clark’s death prompted numerous protests, including an 18-day occupation outside a police precinct, with demonstrators demanding that video of the shooting be released.
Reeves, one of the organizers, said they plan to return to Freeman’s office every Friday to pressure the prosecutor.
“We’re going to keep coming demanding that the Hennepin County prosecutor, the prosecutor’s office, do what’s right by us,” he said. “Mike Freeman can prosecute these policemen. There’s no reason he shouldn’t.”
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