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County Attorney Rules Minneapolis Officers Justified in Killing Jamar Clark

March 30, 2016  | 

Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman this morning explained why officers were justified in the November shooting and killing of Jamar Clark. (Photo: Screen shot from live coverage of news conference by KARE TV)
Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman this morning explained why officers were justified in the November shooting and killing of Jamar Clark. (Photo: Screen shot from live coverage of news conference by KARE TV)

No charges will be filed against the two Minneapolis officers involved in the shooting death last November of Jamar Clark, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman announced Wednesday morning.

Freeman disclosed his decision in a downtown Minneapolis news conference two weeks after bypassing the more common option of letting a grand jury make a charging determination, the Minnesota Star-Tribune reports.

Freeman said the evidence supports the officers' account of the confrontation, in which they said Clark grabbed one of their guns and that he was not handcuffed at the time he was shot.

Freeman said Officer Mark Ringgenberg was trying to arrest Clark and Clark was resisting. Ringgenberg and Clark went to the ground with Ringenberg falling on his back on top of Clark. Forensic evidence, including DNA on the grip of Officer Ringgenberg's gun, corroborate the officers' account that Clark grabbed Ringgenberg's pistol and tried to disarm him, pulling the gun around to the small of Ringgenberg's back where he could not fight off the gun grab. Ringgenberg said to his partner, "He's got my gun."

Ringgenberg's partner at the scene, Officer Dustin Schwarze, put his pistol to Clark's face and ordered Clark to release Ringgenberg's pistol or Schwarze would shoot him. Clark replied, "I'm ready to die." Schwarze then attempted to shoot Clark but his weapon would not fire because the slide would not go into battery. He pulled the trigger again and fired a single shot striking Clark in the head.

Clark was transported to the hospital where he died.

Freeman spent part of his press conference explaining how Minnesota law and federal law justified Officer Schwarze's shooting of Clark. He said, "disarming or attempting to disarm a police officer is a Minnesota felony." He also said Schwarze's use of deadly force was "objectively reasonable" given the totality of circumstances.

Clark, 24, a black man, was shot and killed by police on the night of Nov. 15. The shooting led to international attention, widespread local protests, and an 18-day encampment outside the police department’s Fourth Precinct in north Minneapolis, near the site of the shooting.

Black Lives Matter has announced it will hold a rally at 6 p.m. Wednesday at Elliot Park in Minneapolis, KARE TV reports.

Comments (15)

Displaying 1 - 15 of 15

Steve @ 3/30/2016 10:10 AM

Black Lives Matter. What a joke.

Robert @ 3/30/2016 11:36 AM

So, it appears the facts have come out...and no police crime was committed. This appears to be a fair and even minded I am fine with the results.

On the previous story, multiple posters said that the DA would cave to pressure and move the case to trial...because the DA is a politician and the world is so biased against LEO? Any comments from those posters now.

I posted, that if the victim had a gun/knife, etc...the DA should weigh the facts. That is exactly what the evidence showed (DNA on LEO gun from victim)....and it looks like the DA came up with the correct Criminal ruling.

Now, the civil trial will be a different the threshold is so much lower. In addition, I assume the MPD will look at the incident for policy violations....and then a civilian oversight board will review those files.

As for the BLM, they can protest / civil disobedience as they feel the is a free country.

Seems pretty straight forward all around.

Rich Mercado @ 3/30/2016 11:39 AM

Grabbing on officers Gun ! Saying "I am ready to die" How about the black community getting together and saying all lives matter. Let's tell our people to stop being thugs ! Stop the violence on each other. 82% of the crime stats are black people killing other black people. Why are we killing each other !

Shawn @ 3/30/2016 11:39 AM

Outstanding! Glad to see a DA stand for the truth of the matter rather than cave to biased groups claiming "another Unarmed black man killed by white police officers" of course they leave out the part that he was in FACT armed with the officers gun when he was shot in be head. Thank God for protecting the officers involved!

Rich Mercado @ 3/30/2016 11:43 AM

All lives matter. We need to stop killing each other. 82% of the killings are black people killing each other. We need to stop & follow the words of Dr. King that we are all Gods children.

Sheriffs Explorer Sgt. @ 3/30/2016 11:48 AM

I cannot tell you how delighted I am at this decision. I was afraid that Mr Freeman would charge them, but fortunately I was wrong. The Officers killed the guy in self defense. black lives matter lied when they claimed Clark was handcuffed when he was shot. But that's no surprise, they always lie to us. They expect us to believe their obvious untruths. I can't wait to see what Leonard and Percy have to say about this. They will be crushed

Sheriffs Explorer Sgt. @ 3/30/2016 2:02 PM

I also apologize to Mr Freeman. He has more personal courage than I gave him credit for.

1MNcop @ 3/30/2016 4:52 PM

The story forgot to describe that Clark had a BAC over 0.17 with other drugs in his system and most importantly, he had just assaulted his GF tha left her in an ambulance.
As for BLM crap_ it is another far left-wing group, funded by the One World Order billionair George Soros. BLM calls for vigilantism, not for supporting our laws of justice. Here's a judge's take:
“Black lives matter,” Justice Edward McLaughlin told 24-year-old Tareek Arnold as he sentenced him in Manhattan Supreme Court, the New York Post reported.
“I have heard it, I know it, but the sad fact is in this courtroom, so often what happens is manifestations of the fact that black lives don’t matter to black people with guns,” the judge said.
Arnold, who is black, was convicted for the attempted murder of Jamal McCaskill, also black, after shooting him four times at close range on June 8. Arnold, who authorities say was a member of a gang called Forty Wolves, later escaped from police custody

Robert @ 3/30/2016 8:54 PM

1MNcop..I won't comment on the 2nd part of your message, as I believe the BLM movement has the right to protest as they see fit...and believe what they want; although they do tend to make very, very silly comments most of the time.

However, on the first part of your post...I would just ask why do you bring this up. What is the point, what is the good that disparaging a dead person (and therefore his family) do? What does it accomplish. How does it move things forward at all.
The DA stuck to the facts, made his case. Whether you feel the guy shot was a dirtbag or a does no good to the community as a whole to keep kicking him after he is down.

He still had a family somewhere that cared for him, no matter his faults...I would even bet that his GF did not wish him dead.
This board goes into a flying lather of hate when a BK employee makes a disparaging comment about LEO...then in the next thread, most call someone shot by police a dirtbag or worse.

Sheriffs Explorer Sgt. @ 3/30/2016 9:28 PM

Robert, "the BLM movement has the right to protest as they see fit", you say. Does your definition of that include looting, rioting, and destroying others property??? Does that include sitting in the middle of the interstate while people are caught in traffic for hours, being protected by the Police whom they despise??? Drivers have rights too. In that case the PD should have forcibly removed those idiot protesters from the road and arrested them. The Chief wouldn't allow it. He made a big mistake. Robert, the dead person should be brought up because he almost killed a Police Officer. No one on here called Clark a "dirtbag". Well, Clark was a dirtbag. No question about it. I really doubt his former girlfriend cares that he got killed. I applaud Mr. Freeman for his wise decision in not throwing these Officers under the bus. Sadly, I doubt that this is over yet. Clark's family will probably file a civil suit, alleging a violation of civil rights etc... These people just want money. That's all they care about.

Sheriffs Explorer Sgt. @ 3/30/2016 10:32 PM

I strongly encourage all of you, if you haven't already, to sign the petition for No Mario Woods day in San Francisco. I signed it. Their goal is 100,000 signatures. Currently they have a little over 8,000 signatures. This remembrance day is a slap in the face to every SFPD Officer who ever put on a badge. Its also amn insult to every Police Officer and law abiding citizen in the U.S.

mike @ 3/31/2016 5:16 AM

The Hennepin County Attorney was very transparent in letting ALL the facts come to light in the incident, including the video that was used in the investigation. Still, there are the agitators who were still not satisfied and never will be satisfied, no matter what the facts. These people are simply unreasonable and narrow-minded.

Robert @ 3/31/2016 9:38 AM

SES...I would think that my definition of protesting is the same as most people:
But...since you seem to not understand the finer points:
--"looting, rioting, destroying others property"...I would not call that protesting; I would call that looting, rioting and destruction of property
--Sitting in the middle of the street, is a form of civil disobedience...this is typically both protesting (protected speech) and a safety/criminal violation. I would suggest time is given to disperse...if not, citations should be issued.
Think Kent State & the Edmond Pettus Bridge.

There was no evidence discussed by the prosecutor that Clark 'almost killed a police officer'. Clark attempted to get physical control of a firearm...which caused the LEO to fear for his partner's safety. The DA never mentioned an Attempted Murder charge.
"These people just want money. That's all they care about"...sums up your disgusting stance on the citizens that pay your salary and who you serve.

Sheriffs Explorer Sgt. @ 3/31/2016 6:28 PM

Robert, remember that Clark stuck the gun into the Officers back. The majority of black lives matter protests have been rioting. Remember Baltimore and Ferguson. They claimed they didn't incite rioting but we know better than that. How could the DA mention an attempted murder charge? Clark is dead. Don't tell me that these people who file these multi million dollar lawsuits aren't just after the money. That's all they care about. I do agree that time should be given to the protesters to leave the roadway: 10 minutes. Then arrest everyone still there.

RG @ 4/1/2016 8:57 AM

I am a white, male officer and I find it rather sad that In 2016 we have so many black Americans that are resorting to protesting against LE in an attempt to somehow raise their status. I know our country is in a serous decline economically and somehow LE has been branded as the evil government that is totally corrupt and racially biased. LE as a middle man branch of the government has been left holding the bag by politicians, civilians, and especially the media. Just seems weird that Hispanic, Asian, and Mediterranean Americans aren't pointing the finger at LE. We LE know what dangers we face and how we must react when faced with deadly force. Just don't see this getting better or going away for a while. Wish it was an April Fools Joke. LE lets just keep our eyes forward ,heads up and do our jobs. We can't worry about the outcome, just do it by the book without regard for race, color, or gender an we can hold our heads up.

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