No Charges Filed Against Officers That Fatally Shot Unarmed Man in Head


From The Atlantic:

Yet another highly scrutinized police shooting has ended without charges for police. Mike Freeman, the prosecutor in Hennepin County, Minnesota, announced Wednesday he had decided not to charge officers who mortally wounded Jamar Clark in Minneapolis in November.

Police responded to a domestic-violence call on November 15, 2015, and ended up shooting Clark while trying to apprehend the 24-year-old black man. They said he was interfering with their work. The incident happened across the street from an Elks Lodge, so there were several witnesses. Some of them said Clark had been handcuffed when he was shot. While there was some cellphone video of the incident, no publicly revealed film showed clearly what happened.

There was some cellphone video of the incident, no publicly revealed film showed clearly what happened

Freeman, in announcing his decision on Wednesday, said the evidence did not support charging Officers Mark Ringgenberg and Dustin Schwarze, because their actions were justified. “Schwarze reasonably believed that if Clark had succeeded in removing his firearm from his holster, Clark would have shot both officers as well as exposing third parties to danger of injury by firearm,” Freeman’s report states. He also said Clark was not handcuffed at the time of the incident and was reaching for one of the officers’ guns.

The StarTribune summarizes:

Officers told Clark to put his hands in his pockets and he wouldn’t. Officer Mark Ringgenberg put his gun back in the holster and grabbed Clark’s right wrist. Officer Dustin Schwarze grabbed Clark’s other arm and dropped the handcuffs while trying to cuff him. Ringgenberg then tried a takedown move and they both fell to the ground and Ringgenberg’s back was to Clark’s stomach. Ringgenberg felt his gun go from his hip to the small of his back. Ringgenberg reached back and felt Clark’s hand on his gun. He repeatedly told Schwarze: “He’s got my gun, he’s got my gun.’

Schwarze unholstered his gun, put it to Clark’s face, and demanded he drop the gun. Clark reportedly responded, “I’m ready to die.” Schwarze pulled the trigger twice, but the pistol’s slide caught the first time.

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