For Immediate Release
From NAACP Minneapolis
Media Contact: Leslie Redmond, NAACP Minneapolis Second Vice President, 202-840-1410
Department of Justice report released March 20 highlights community unity and city negligence for Jamar Clark
For 18 days in November and December of 2017, there were many youth and elders coming together to condemn the killing of unarmed Jamar Clark by Minnesota Police Department (MPD) Officers Riggenberg and Schwarze. Community members created an inclusive, safe space for them to gather and deal with the profound grief, anger, sadness, and desperation that came in the wake of yet another Black life needlessly taken by the very people who were sworn to serve and protect them. By holding this space, “protesters stopped the city of Minneapolis from burning down,” said Cathy Jones, Vice President of the NAACP Minneapolis.
While the police focused on using pepper spray and rubber pellets, the community sacrificed their bodies, day and night, to shed light on the injustices that were taking place in Minneapolis. The Department of Justice (DOJ) report released yesterday shows that the people stood on the right side of history. It also points out that paid officials, including the mayor and chief of police, took several days before showing their faces at the precinct. Even after five peaceful Black protesters were shot by a white supremacist, these officials never visited the hospital or provided security for the community.
“The occupation changed my life forever. I felt like it was a war in my own backyard. For the first time, I felt like like America was fighting against me rather than for me. After that, I came to realize this might have been how my grandfather felt coming back from the war and receiving no recognition or support for the country he fought for," said Leslie Redmond, Second Vice President of NAACP Minneapolis.
Jamar Clark was not ready to die. He was just beginning to live. While paid officials such as Rep. Tony Cornish tried to paint Jamar as a Black thug with a death wish, the community knows what happened to him in those 62 seconds. As the report shows, the city made many errors while the people united in love and peace.
The DOJ report provides information about the communication and planning deficiencies made by the city and police force, but it can’t provide closure.
“108 pages later, we are still waiting for justice for Jamar,” said Jeffrey Aguy, NAACP Minneapolis Economic Development Chair.
For more information about the NAACP Minneapolis, please visit www.naacpmpls.com