Discover the World News Forecast . . . FIRST in Foresight Journalism

Charges over shooting of Jamar Clark possible

March 31, 2016 - UNITED STATES

Prosecutors says they will decide by the end of the month whether to press charges over the fatal shooting by police of a 24-year-old black man, Jamar Clark, who died in November 2015.

Clark was shot in a scuffle with two white police officers in north Minneapolis, Minnesota on November 15 and died the following day. Some witnesses say Clark was handcuffed at the time, but the Minneapolis Police Federation deny this and say he was reaching for an officer's gun.

Clark's death touched off a series of demonstrations demanding the officers be prosecuted. A lawsuit was filed by organisations including Black Lives Matter, to force the state of Minnesota to release video related to the incident. The following day, the state Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, which took over the Clark investigation from the Minneapolis Police Department, announced that it had completed its investigation. Its report was delivered to prosecutors on Feb 10.

The Washington Post, which is tracking on-duty firearms killings by police, reported that 986 such deaths occurred in 2015. The Post found that police killed blacks at three times the rate of whites, when adjusted for the populations where these shootings occurred. And although black men represent 6 percent of the U.S. population, they make up nearly 40 percent of those killed while unarmed.

Many of the shootings have ignited protests in their communities. The killing of an unarmed black man, Michael Brown, by a white police officer in 2014 in Ferguson, Missouri triggered a national debate and exposed the federal government's failure to track the use of deadly force by its officers.

Hennepin County attorney asks BCA to expand investigation of Jamar Clark shooting (Star Tribune 23 Feb 2016)

Effort to get Jamar Clark videos released focuses on a unique -- and untested -- provision in Minnesota's data law (Minn Post 22 Feb 2016)

A year of reckoning: Police fatally shoot nearly 1,000 (Washington Post 26 Dec 2015)

Date written/update: 2016-02-24