Black man dies after being shot by Minneapolis police

Unarmed black man dies after being shot in head by police officer in Minneapolis, US over weekend, sparking protests, dozens of arrests

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

A makeshift memorial is seen at the location where Jamar Clark was allegedly shot by police early Sunday, in Minneapolis, Minnesota on November 16, 2015

A 24-year-old unarmed black man, Jamar Clark, died after a Minneapolis police officer shot him in the head over the weekend, officials said on Tuesday, which incited protests and dozens of arrests.

According to community activists, Clark was unarmed and handcuffed as the police officer shot him shortly after midnight on Sunday.

Officials also confirmed that Clark was unarmed but said they were still investigating whether he was handcuffed.

"There were handcuffs on the scene at the time. And we are still examining whether or not they were on Mr. Clark or whether they were just fallen at the scene," Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension Superintendent Drew Evans said at a news conference on Tuesday.

Clark’s family told local media that he was taken off life support on Monday evening.

The Hennepin County Medical Examiner's Office said in a statement on Tuesday evening that Clark died because of his gunshot wound to the head adding that the time of death was at 9:25pm local time on Monday at the Hennepin County Medical Center.

Evans said that the results of the investigation would be handed to prosecutors in two to four months by the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension , a unit of the Minnesota Departmen of Public Safety.

The incident may also go under a federal civil rights investigation.

On Monday, Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges declared on her Twitter account that she had requested to launch a federal civil rights investigation.

Over the past years, the killings of unarmed black men and women in encounters with police in the United States have sparked protests nationwide and incited a national civil rights movement called Black Lives Matter.

The incident in Minneapolis also brought about protests and dozens of arrests.

Protesters blocked the way of a police precinct after the shooting and flooded an Interstate highway late on Monday. They had demanded the authorities to show video of the shooting.

About 50 people were arrested after blocking a section of Interstate 94 that goes into Minneapolis.

Evans explained that there was no video of the incident from police dashboard or body cameras except footage from business and security cameras in the area and witnesses’ cellphones. He said investigators are watching them but none of those videos captured the entire incident.

The footage will not be released because it could taint witness interviews, said Evans.

The Bureau of Criminal Apprehension said that Clark was a suspect in the incident adding that an altercation occured between him and the officers before he was shot in the head.

Both officers have been placed on administrative leave. After they are interviewed by investigators, the names of them will be released, the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension reported.

TRTWorld and agencies