Gallery: Protest Thanksgiving begins with visit from federal authorities

26 Nov 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

At funeral for slain Minneapolis man, vow to seek justice.

MINNEAPOLIS — Protesters and community groups are planning a community Thanksgiving dinner outside of a Minneapolis police station where demonstrators have been camped out for more than a week. MINNEAPOLIS – Hundreds of people filled a Minneapolis church on Wednesday for the funeral of a black man whose death in a confrontation with police has sparked days of ongoing protests, while charges were pending against four men suspected in a shooting that wounded several of the protesters.A funeral was held Monday for an unarmed man shot dead by Minneapolis police — as authorities announced that a fourth person is being held in connection with a shooting near a “Black Lives Matter” protest following the death. “I’m still hurt,” his sister, Sharice Burns, told the packed church on the city’s north side, The Associated Press reported. “I’m still suffering.

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The Hennepin County Attorney’s Office has until Monday to decide if it will charge four suspects in Monday night’s shooting near the 4th Precinct in north Minneapolis.NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Several people were arrested Wednesday night, as protesters rallied and marched over recent deadly police shootings in Chicago and Minneapolis.

She said the meal is being hosted by the NACCP and Zion Baptist Church and designed to promote healing after the shooting death of 24-year-old Jamar Clark. Impassioned speeches from pastors and Jamar Clark’s relatives were occasionally interrupted by shouts and applause inside the cavernous Shiloh Temple International Ministries. Members of the church were forced to hold up Clarke’s anguished mother Irma Burns as she sobbed while being escorted from her son’s coffin during the service. Police named the suspects Wednesday: Joseph Martin Backman, 27; Daniel Thomas Macey, 26; Allen Lawrence Scarsella, 23; and Nathan Wayne Gustavsson, 21. “I absolutely know that he was not involved in the shooting,” Backman said. “He’s a really, very curious guy, a poli-sci major.

Other family members wore shirts with a photo of Clark that read ‘I Matter,’ while the programs for the tragic event also carried his picture and noted that the 24-year-old ‘liked to swim, fish, listen to music, play basketball, be with family and take trips to Charlotte, North Carolina’. Outside the church, protesters paused at the request of the family after days of unrest over the shooting, which occurred on November 15 while eyewitnesses claim Clark was already restrained by police and – according to one – even in handcuffs.

While some have called for the encampment at the police station to end, Levy-Pounds says it has become a place where the community can gather and heal. We need justice sooner rather than later.” Clark was shot on Nov. 15 in what police say was a scuffle with officers responding to an assault of a woman in which he was a suspect.

Within 24 hours, police had arrested a 23-year-old in Bloomington, a nearby city, as well as a 26-year-old and a 21-year-old who turned themselves in to investigators. Witnesses said the gunmen were white supremacists targeting those demonstrating in the aftermath of the death of Jamar Clark – who was shot and killed by a local police officer during a struggle. Police have arrested four men — ages 27, 26, 23 and 21 — on suspicion of shooting five protesters after some protesters told the men to leave the site Monday night. The shooting occurred about a block from the Minneapolis Police Department’s 4th Precinct, where protesters have been holding demonstrations following Clark’s death. Bishop Richard Howell praised protesters for pressure that he said helped get a federal criminal civil rights investigation and the names of the officers involved.

Belton said the vigil should end to ‘restore order’ to the community, which he said has endured open gunfire, traffic and service interruptions, smoke from the protesters’ fires and hours of helicopter noise. Protesters have called on city leaders to release video footage captured of the incident, but authorities say it would harm their investigation into the incident, CBS Minnesota reported.

Demonstrations have also been held in Chicago in recent days, after Chicago Police Officer Jason Van Dyke was hit with murder charges in the fatal shooting of Laquan McDonald in October 2014, CBS Chicago reported. Court documents indicate the 23-year-old suspect called an old high school friend who is a Mankato police officer and confessed to shooting the protesters. Police haven’t released a possible motive for the shootings of the protesters, but the shootings came after several racially disparaging comments about the protests were posted on social media. According to the documents, the suspect, who is white, told the officer that he and some friends went to the protest to livestream it when the altercation broke out, leading to the shooting.

Authorities, however, have not confirmed those claims — and it was unclear who had opened fire early Wednesday. “At some point during an altercation that ensued between the officers and the individual, an officer discharged his weapon, striking the individual,” the Minnesota Department of Public Safety said in a statement. The FBI has announced that it will conduct its own investigation, while the U.S. attorney’s office in Minnesota and Justice Department prosecutors will review evidence to see whether any civil rights statutes were violated.

Drew Evans, superintendent of the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, said that authorities were still working to determine whether Clark was handcuffed when he died.

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