Cathy Harris News Updates

Cathy Harris News Updates
News You Can Use

Friday, November 20, 2015

UPDATE - Death of Jamar Clark, Minnesota - #4th Precinct Shut Down

Scott Roberts, 

Dear Cathy,

Yesterday, Minnesota officials released the names of the police who fatally shot Jamar Clark in the head: Officer Mark Ringgenberg and Officer Dustin Schwarze. Both officers have been sued in the past for violence, false arrests and threats.1
Local officials are refusing to release various videos they have of the killing, choosing instead to ramp up militarized police violence against growing peaceful protests. Right now, activists are camped out at the 4th precinct facing pepper spray, arrest and rubber bullets, while Ringgenberg and Schwarze are on paid leave. We will need a groundswell of voices to get to the bottom of what happened to Jamar and secure the justice his family deserves.
Will you join more than 50,000 ColorOfChange members in demanding police release all videos relating to the police killing of Jamar Clark?
The reality is, Jamar’s killing hit a nerve for thousands of Black youth in Minneapolis, a city like so many others in America where systemic anti-Black police violence is rampant. Minneapolis police are nearly 6 times more likely to stop and arrest Black teens than white teens for low level issues, such as “curfew violations.”3 From 2006 to 2012, Minneapolis paid out $14 million for police misconduct, but leadership almost never disciplined officers. In 2014, there was an average of 1.2 complaints against each Minneapolis police officer.4 And now, law enforcement are denying the eye-witness testimony of dozens of children, teens and adults who witnessed the shooting and say police shot Jamar "execution style." In order to help this suffering community heal, local officials need to release these videos, expose the truth, and begin the hard work of moving forward.
Instead of arresting courageous youth organizers, Mayor Hodges and Chief Harteau should be doing everything in their power to end the culture of secrecy and impunity that drives anti-Black policing, starting with the release of these videos.
Thank you
1. "Protesters, police have tense night outside 4th Precinct HQ," Star Tribune 11-19-2015
2. See reference 1.
3. "Patterns of Racial Bias and Overcriminalization Show Urgent Need for Reform: Blacks and Native Americans Disproportionately Affected," ACLU 05-28-2015
4. "How Did Jamar Clark Die?" The Atlantic 11-18-2015

Eye-witnesses say Minneapolis Police fatally shot 24-year-old Jamar Clark "execution style."
Join local activists in demanding police release all video of the shooting:
Dear Cathy,
This weekend, Minneapolis Police fatally shot unarmed 24-year-old Jamar Clark.
In a scene all too similar to the police shooting of 18-year-old Mike Brown, dozens of people saw the shooting unfold. Eye-witnesses say Jamar was handcuffed with his hands behind his back when police shot him in the head "execution style." 2
The entire event was likely caught on video by a nearby camera, but local officials are refusing to release the footage. Last night, police unjustly arrested more than 51 Black Lives Matter activists for demanding release of the video and justice for Jamar.3 Now, it's time for us to help turn up the pressure to get Jamar's family the answers they deserve.
Click here to demand police release all video footage of the shooting. If enough of us speak out, it will shine a spotlight on local officials and increase the pressure for them to release whatever information they have.
All eye-witness accounts of what happened to Jamar point to murder. According to the latest news reports, police were called to the area for domestic assault. While it's unclear exactly what happened before the paramedics arrived, Jamar allegedly tried to speak to his girlfriend before she was put in an ambulance but police threw him to the ground and arrested him. Moments later, law enforcement shot him in the head. Tate Wilson, a local business owner who saw the shooting happen, said, "the young man was just laying there. He was not resisting arrest."4 According to the local NAACP, every eye-witness they've spoken to said Jamar "was handcuffed. Every witness account. [They say police] put a knee on him and shot in the head."5
We need the video footage of the shooting in order to hold law enforcement accountable for this brutal violence. Time and time again, we've seen what happens when local officials are able to keep this type of key information from family members and the public.6 The longer videos are kept secret the easier it is for police to doctor the footage or alter their stories to fit what's caught on camera instead of what actually happened.7 We need full transparency and public accountability or else we will never be able to end the racist culture of corruption and violence that leads to these tragedies. Local officials have asked the Department of Justice to investigate the case, but the investigation will likely take months to complete.8 We need answers now.
When NAACP activists Jason Sole heard about the tragic police shooting of Jamar he said, "Minneapolis is one bullet away from Ferguson...that bullet was fired last night."9 The reality is, police violence targeting Black people is rampant in cities across America. In fact, Jamar is at least the 251st Black person killed by police in 2015 alone.10 Due to discriminatory racial stereotypes, police are 21 times more likely to shoot Black teens than white teens.11 And Minneapolis Black youth have had enough. As protesters put their lives on the line to stand with Jamar's family in demanding justice, we must raise our voices to hold local officials accountable.
Enough is enough. Tell Minneapolis law enforcement to release all key evidence pertaining to the police shooting of Jamar Clark.
Thank you,
— Scott, Rashad, Arisha, Lyla and the rest of the ColorOfChange team.
November 17th, 2015
1. "Black Lives Matter Protesting Police Shooting of a Reportedly Unarmed Man in Minneapolis," Gawker 11-15-2015
2. See reference 1.
3. "51 arrested in protests after black man shot by Minneapolis police," USA Today 11-17-2015
4. "Protesters demand video, police accountability in Minneapolis shooting," Reuters 11-16-2015
5. "Jamar Clark: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know," 11-15-2015
6. "Police Still Refuse to Release Evidence in Demouria Hogg Shooting Death OPD," Post News Group 07-17-2015
7. "CONFIRMED: Dashcam Video of Sandra Bland’s Violent Arrest was Indeed Edited," Mint Press News 07-17-2015
8. "Besty Hodges: Jamar Clark Shooting Should Be Investigated by Department of Justice," City Pages 11-16-2015
8. See reference 5.
9. "The Counted: People killed by police in the US," The Guardian
10. "Deadly Force, in Black and White," ProPublica 10-10-2014

ColorOfChange is building a movement to elevate the voices of Black folks and our allies, and win real social and political change. Help keep our movement strong.

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