An encampment created by Minneapolis protesters after the shooting of Jamar Clark was torn down Thursday by police, resulting in a protest at City Hall.
According to The Star Tribune, police cleared the encampment outside the Fourth Precinct headquarters erected by protesters after Clark’s death over 18 days ago. The 24-year-old was fatally shot by a police officer during a dispute. Witnesses claim Clark was handcuffed during the shooting, and protesters are demanding video of the incident be released. As they chanted “Justice for Jamar” and “release the tapes,” food, tents, and other items donated were cleared with a bulldozer and taken away in a dump truck.
After the clearing, eight protesters were arrested and taken to the Hennepin County Jail. The Huffington Post reports seven people were charged with obstruction and one for trespassing.
Black Lives Matter Minneapolis reported all protesters have since been released.
Speaking during a news conference, Police Chief Janee Harteau said the interest of the community was at stake. Many complained of noise and vandalism in the encampment. One neighbor voiced concerns about the protesters during a City Council safety committee this week. Patricia Anderson said her daughter’s car windows were smashed by camp members and she was having trouble sleeping.
The precinct’s budget was also brought into play; Harteau said $750,000 has been spent in overtime pay since the shooting.
The Huffington Post reports:
“I do want to make notice to future protests that we will continue to support and facilitate your First Amendment rights and freedom of speech. But, we will also support and enforce the ordinances of the City of Minneapolis and the laws of the state of Minnesota,” Harteau said.
By Thursday morning, a metal gate surrounded the Fourth Precinct.
The destruction didn’t stop protesters from arriving at City Hall later that day, still demanding footage of Clark’s death be released. The group then headed to a social gathering for law enforcement at a local bowling alley to continue. By the end of the evening, 100 more people joined the group and called for the resignation of police union president Bob Kroll.
The Star Tribune reports:
Protesters continue to push for other demands not yet met: release of video of Clark’s shooting and prosecution of the officers without a grand jury. They say witnesses to the shooting saw that Clark, who is black, was handcuffed when he was shot by an officer. Police have said that Clark was not handcuffed.
“It’s because we showed up in the streets and we showed up at the door and said, ‘You have to stop killing us,’” organizer Adja Gildersleve told the crowd. “You don’t have the power. This is real power.”
Clark’s cousin, Alexander Clark, told those assembled, “The people are tired. It’s time for the people to fight back.”
Mayor Betsy Hodges echoed Harteau’s concerns for safety as a cause for evicting the protesters. Hodges told reporters she wants Minneapolis to work together and move forward to solve the city’s most alarming issues. Harteau added there will be no more open fires or protester encampments allowed.
SOURCE: The Star Tribune, The Huffington Post | VIDEO CREDIT: Inform, Twitter
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