By Susan-Elizabeth Littlefield

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — As emotional as the decision was for onlookers, it was incredibly heavy for Jamar Clark’s family. One family member said he is confused, lost and numb after Wednesday’s decision not to file charges against officers involved in Clark’s fatal shooting last November.

Crowds of other supporters gathered in Jamar Clark’s name, saying he is a victim of a corrupt justice system.

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“If the city burns, it’s on your hands,” one supporter told Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman at the rally.

Jamar Clark has really become a household name in the Twin Cities. He never knew thousands would chant his name. The 24-year-old had a life of ups and downs. Family says he was on the backside of trouble, working at a car wash and about to take a second job in construction.

“We go through things when we’re young, but that’s when we were kids,” Jamar Clark’s cousin Cameron Clark said outside Hennepin County Government Center after the decision was announced. “But that’s when he was young. People make mistakes.”

But Cameron Clark says his cousin’s mistakes on the last night of his life should not have caused his death.

“I know my cousin didn’t tell that officer he was ready to die,” Cameron Clark said. “I know he didn’t, and for Mike Freeman to make that story up, and lie like that, he’s got blood on his hands. And that’s all I’m going to say.”

Cameron Clark was far from alone in his pain and disapproval.

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“We don’t buy the story and we think this is an example of an unjust justice system,” Mel Reeves of the Twin Cities Coalition for Justice for Jamar Clark said. “Where do we go from here? We can’t get simple justice when a man is killed?”

Pastor Carmen Means of The Movement Church said the city needs to acknowledge what it did.

“Minneapolis has no integrity and they’ve taken no accountability for what was done Jamar Clark,” she said.

Cameron Clark said the county’s story of Jamar Clark’s death doesn’t reflect the cousin he remembers.

“Jamar wasn’t a bad person,” Cameron Clark said. “Even when Jamar was down, you would never know. He was always smiling.”

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Family, supporters, even strangers who were gathered in the lobby of the government center to watch the announcement didn’t seem surprised by the decision.

Susan-Elizabeth Littlefield