Charges will not be filed against two white Minneapolis officers involved in the shooting death of Jamar Clark following an investigation of the incident which occurred last fall.
According to the Star Tribune, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman made the announcement in a news conference earlier today, with Clarks’s family present at the event.
According to Freeman, the investigation found that contrary to the account of some witnesses, Clark was not handcuffed while he was locked in struggle with the two officers. In addition, Clark had a firm grip on officer Mark Ringgenberg’s handgun, refusing repeated orders from Officer Dustin Schwarze to let go of the weapon.
Ringgenberg repeatedly told Schwarze: “He’s got my gun, he’s got my gun.’
Schwarze placed the muzzle of his sidearm to the side of Clark’s mouth, saying “Let go or I’m going to shoot you.”
Schwarze said Clark looked at him and repeatedly said “I’m ready to die.”
Schwarze pulled the trigger once, but the pistol had been pushed out of battery. He pulled the trigger again and the gun went off, with the entire encounter lasting sixty-one seconds.
The evidence from the investigation is the result of a video law enforcement collected from the scene, as well as accounts from witnesses on the scene.
The entire incident began when 24-year-old Clark assaulted his girlfriend on November 15th of last year and blocked paramedics from treating her. When law enforcement stepped in, Clark engaged them, resulting in the scuffle that ended in him being shot. Clark died the next day.
Officers Mark Ringgenberg, 30, and Dustin Schwarze, 29, were placed on administrative leave but returned to desk jobs in January. Both officers have more than seven years of experience.
The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension investigated the Clark case, turning over its findings to Freeman in February. In March, Freeman reversed decades of legal precedent by announcing that he would not use a grand jury in police-involved shootings.