Protesters call for peace at vigil for slain Minneapolis man

21 Nov 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

3 Activists Removed From Mpls. City Council Meeting.

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Hundreds of people gathered outside a Minneapolis police precinct on a cold Friday night to call for unity and justice after a black man was fatally shot by an officer. MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Friday’s Minneapolis City Council meeting received an unexpected interruption as one organization spoke out against the shooting of an unarmed black man by a police officer. 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. Nekima Levy-Pounds, president of the Minneapolis chapter of the NAACP, said “coming together shows we can achieve justice.” She told Friday’s crowd she wants police to treat community with respect, “as if we were members of your own family.” Also Friday, Minnesota Gov. Dayton said the meeting was constructive and officials talked about steps they could take, such as community policing, to prevent a similar tragedy in the future. “I take this very, very seriously.

Beyond the domestic assault call alleging Clark had hurt his girlfriend that brought police to the north Minneapolis neighborhood, he spent three years in and out of prison for a robbery conviction. The death of Jamar Clark, a 24-year-old black man from Minneapolis, who was shot in the head during a scuffle Sunday on the city’s North Side, has drawn national attention. More recently, he was on probation for threatening to burn down an ex-girlfriend’s house after a bitter break-up and was awaiting trial for a July arrest for fleeing police in a high-speed chase.

Mark Dayton says he had a constructive meeting with state and local leaders as well as leaders from the NAACP to talk about the situation in Minneapolis after the fatal shooting of 24-year-old Jamar Clark. Asked for his reaction to the protests, Dayton said: “The No. 1 priority is peace.” He asked those who are grieving to behave in ways that don’t cause damage to people’s lives and safety. “I just pray that we will be able to get through this terrible, terrible time, all of us together, in a way that only strengthens or overall Minnesota community,” he said. Police said they were responding to an assault call Sunday in which Clark was a suspect when they arrived to find Clark interfering with paramedics trying to treat the injured woman.

His death laid bare the tension between Minneapolis’ black community and law enforcement and, the protesters say, exposed deeply embedded societal problems that made Clark’s history impossible to move past. “None of our children deserve to be shot and killed, and then talked about like they are animals,” said Bettie Smith, who joined protesters Monday to discuss her son’s death in a 2008 officer-involved shooting. You will be held accountable for what you have done to our community.” Even though the protesters were escorted out of the meeting, they believe they were still effective.

They say Friday’s actions are just the beginning, but stopped short of giving details about future plans. “We have people who are righteously angered, and we need to address people’s concerns. An attorney for one of the officers involved in the shooting says Clark was not handcuffed, went for an officer’s weapon and “had manual control” of that officer’s gun.

They should be addressing the community and dealing with what the community needs right now … Our city’s an inch away from turning into Ferguson.” “Right now, there ain’t no place I’d rather be. City council meetings do not allow for public comment, which is left for committee meetings. “It would have been nice if they would have allowed some public comment because we’re in crisis,” Johnson said. “We are definitely in crisis.” “It’s not unusual for me to see people coming in thinking they’re going to have opportunity to address the council and we’re not really providing it automatically here,” Gordon said. Hoag put him up at a motel for a few days to help out, and gave him as many hours of work at Copeland Trucking as he could, helping in the warehouse or on moves. “Jamar was a troubled youth that was put into the correction system.

We urge everyone to take those messages seriously.” Earlier Friday, the scene outside the Fourth Precinct headquarters was quiet and peaceful, with some protesters warming themselves at campfires and donning donated hats and mittens. Gordon and fellow councilmembers Alondra Cano and Lisa Bender have expressed their support for protesters and their demands to release video evidence in the case.

Some protesters worked to cleared the streets of debris, while others directed traffic away from the road in front of the building, which was covered in spray paint. He cared about having somebody care about him.” But when their relationship soured, she saw a man who snapped while gathering his things from her house after the breakup.

Helen Williams, who has lived in north Minneapolis for more than 40 years, came to sweep the street outside the precinct headquarters and show her support for the protest movement. He threw a brick through Truitt’s window and threatened to burn her apartment unit down — leaving behind a trail of lighter fluid to prove it, according to court documents. Paul, said he was approached by a protester who asked to pray with him. “The young man wanted me to pray for him and what he’s going through,” he said.

City Attorney Susan Segal said the council received a briefing from the city’s emergency management director, Barret Lane, because the emergency operations centers has begun helping to coordinate communications. Council Member Lisa Bender moved to allow public testimony from the activists, with support from Council Member Alondra Cano, but the motion failed on a voice vote.

A coalition of leaders from African immigrant communities said at a news conference in Brooklyn Park that immigrant groups support protesters’ and black community leaders’ call for clarity and justice in the Clark case. “Our community is united in asking and demanding justice for Jamar Clark,” said Abdullah Kiatamba, executive director of the group African Immigrant Services. “The African community is united with our African-American brothers and sisters. We want police to use guns as the last resort,” said Arthur Biah, chief executive officer of the Liberian Health Initiative. “It is very important that our police value the lives of everyone they come in contact with, whether they’re black, Latino or white.” A number of Minnesota progressive and labor groups issued statements urging a thorough and transparent investigation, including AFSCME Local 3800, which represents University of Minnesota clerical workers and TakeAction Minnesota. State DFL chairman Ken Martin expressed condolences to Clark’s family and adding, “It is hard to have hope for the future when it seems that our community has turned an indifferent eye to the very real and persistent issues facing communities of color in Minnesota. The DFL stands by everyone working peacefully for a transparent investigation and to bring the conversation of fairness and justice to the forefront.” On Thursday, the protesters’ encampment was visited by several City Council members and U.S.

In an interview, Ellison said he might not have known the extent of the situation if not for a Star Tribune photo showing officers pointing a weapon at his son Wednesday. He added that he wants to ensure that protesters are given a full opportunity to exercise their free-speech rights and hopes that they do so nonviolently. That prompted an unsolicited call to the station from Harteau, who tangled with him on the air, defending her actions and the protesters’ right to peaceably demonstrate.

She noted that unruly elements among the 400 or so protesters — some of them “people outside the community” whom she characterized as “anarchists” — hit police with pepper spray and threw objects, including rocks and three Molotov cocktails, at officers. The chief hoisted a large rock above her head to drive home the point before ticking off the damage: 12 squad cars damaged ($25,000), portable cameras damaged ($13,000) and minor damage to the station’s building and fencing. Kroll said Thursday that the officers told a union attorney that Clark spun one officer’s gun belt and had “manual control” of the weapon by the handle. “Mr.

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