Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman will eliminate the long-standing and secret use of a grand jury in police-involved shootings, including the death of Jamar Clark.
For the first time in at least 40 years, Freeman and several of his top prosecutors will investigate and determine whether or not there will be charges against two Minneapolis officers involved in the fatal shooting of Clark in November. A decision in the case is expected by the end of the month.
Activists who had long pushed Freeman's office not to use a grand jury in the Clark shooting praised the decision, crediting multiple protests and demands for accountability, the Star Tribune reports.
"I am overjoyed that in this instance Mike Freeman decided to do the right thing," said Nekima Levy-Pounds, president of the Minneapolis NAACP. "Mike Freeman is fully aware that the grand jury process has been ineffective here and nationally in holding officers accountable. I believe sustained community pressure played a huge role in Mike Freeman's decision."
The grand jury process has been criticized by anti-police activists in the wake of police-involved deaths around the United States that resulted in no indictments.