Updated: What we know about the shooting of five protesters and the Jamar Clark investigation

Jamar Clark
Credit: Kenya McKnight
Jamar Clark

In the early morning hours of Sunday, Nov. 15 on the city’s North Side, a Minneapolis police officer shot a 24-year-old man named Jamar Clark in the head.

In the weeks since, the incident has made national headlines, led to state and federal investigations and inspired a protest that shut down one of the busiest highways in the state, resulting in dozens of arrests.

On the night of Monday, Nov. 23,  suspects shot five protestors about a block from the Fourth Precinct police station. 

Here’s what we know so far — and what we don’t — about what happened:

Was anyone killed at the protest shooting Monday?
No. All injuries were non-life threatening, according to police. Two of the victims were transferred to Hennepin County Medical Center via ambulance and the other three were brought to North Memorial Medical Center by a private vehicle. 

What do the charges say?
The Hennepin County Attorney’s Office filed charges against four suspects Monday. Allen L. Scarsella III, 23, has been charged with one count of second-degree riot while armed and five counts of second-degree assault with a dangerous weapon. The other three — Nathan Gustavsson, 21, Daniel Macey, 26, and Joseph M. Backman, 27 — are also facing second-degree riot while armed charges.

According to the charging document — read in full here — in the days prior the shooting, the men posted videos to social media using derogatory terms to describe black people and declaring their intentions to do some “reverse cultural enriching.” The men went to the protest and Scarsella shot five people. A few hours later, an acquaintance of Scarsella, who worked as a police officer in another jurisdiction, told Minneapolis police that Scarsella had called him earlier and admitted to shooting five people. “The officer was aware that Scarsella owned and carried guns and that he had very intense opinions, which the officer described as being a sovereign citizen and pro-Constitution,” the complaint says. “He knew that Scarsella had negative experiences with and opinions about African Americans.” The officers raided Scarsella’s home that night. On his phone, they found several incriminating texts between him and the other suspects, as well as photos of Scarsella with guns and a Confederate flag. Police arrested all four men last week and they’ve all confessed to being present at the during the shooting incident.

The men haven’t been charged with a bias crime, often known as a “hate crime,” which many activists called for last week. However, based on Minnesota laws, that would be mostly a symbolic charge. Read more here

How did this whole thing start?
Shortly after midnight on Nov. 15, two Minneapolis police officers responded to a call for assistance from paramedics reporting a man interfering with their ability to help an assault victim. The officers arrived at the scene, on the 1600 block of Plymouth Avenue North, and got into an altercation with Jamar Clark, who was a suspect in the assault. In the course of this encounter, one of the officers shot Clark. The incident began a protest that is still ongoing, even after this week’s shooting. 

Was Clark handcuffed when the officer shot him?
This is in dispute. Minneapolis Police Chief Janeé Harteau and other law enforcement representatives say he was not. However, some witness accounts say otherwise. Black Lives Matter posted a video recently the group says shows Clark on the ground in handcuffs just after he was shot, but the footage is dark and it’s difficult to make out exactly what’s happening. Gov. Mark Dayton viewed separate footage from an ambulance on scene, but told reporters “it doesn’t show anything that would be any confirmation of one point of view or another.” 

Did Clark die as a result of his wounds?
Yes. He died on Nov. 16, the night after he was shot, and his body was taken to the Hennepin County Medical Examiner for an autopsy.

What do we know about the officers involved?
The BCA released their names on Nov. 18: Officers Mark Ringgenberg and Dustin Schwarze. Both have been police officers for seven years, and both have been with the Minneapolis Police Department for a little more than a year. Schwarze has faced two internal affairs complaints in his time on the force. One was dismissed with no discipline earlier this year; the other is still open. Police won’t release any details on the nature of the complaints. Ringgenber has not had any complaints during his time with Minneapolis police.

Is there more video?
Yes. The Bureau of Criminal Apprehension acknowledged that more footage of the incident exists, including from bystanders, a police mobile video station and a public housing building. None captured the incident in full, so it’s yet to be seen exactly what the video will show. Minnesota Public Radio has posted audio from the BCA press conference. 

Why is there no police body camera footage?
The officers weren’t wearing them. The Minneapolis Police Department hasn’t officially rolled out its body camera program yet, though it expects to in early 2016. The department did run a pilot project, but it ended earlier this year.

A group of community and Black Lives Matter activists gathered in protest
Creative Commons/Tony Webster
A group of community and Black Lives Matter activists gathered in protest outside the Minneapolis Police Department’s 4th precinct building on Nov. 15.

How have critics responded?
Black Lives Matter and others assembled promptly after reports of the shooting and camped outside the MPD’s Fourth Precinct station. On Nov. 16 the group issued a “list of demands,” including that police release footage of the incident, which the protestors believe will confirm Clark was handcuffed during the incident. The group also asked for an independent investigation into the shooting, saying the state’s Bureau of Criminal Apprehension wasn’t capable of being impartial. The day after the incident, hundreds of protestors took the streets and blocked westbound traffic on I-94. Police arrested 51 people on various minor charges. Police cleared out an encampment early December 3.

What’s been the response of city officials?
Mayor Betsy Hodges held a press conference the night after the initial incident with several other city leaders, where she announced the city had asked the federal Department of Justice for an independent civil rights investigation, which will take place in concurrence with the state’s BCA investigation. In her letter, Hodges said she and Harteau have “utmost faith” that the BCA can conduct a proper investigation, but “believe it assists the interests of transparency and community confidence” to have the DOJ step in too. Harteau added that the investigations aren’t a predetermination of guilt of the officers, but “everyone involved needs and deserves the truth and the facts.” 

On November 30, after two weeks of protests, Hodges and Congressman Keith Ellison asked occupiers to vacate the Fourth Precinct site, saying the demonstration has become unsafe and disruptive to the community. “It’s time to evolve this beyond the encampment for the sake of the people we say we’re trying to help,” said Ellison.

What will be the DOJ’s role?
The DOJ agreed to take the case on Nov. 17. The federal agency will make determinations on the case independent from the state, says Mark Osler, former assistant U.S. Attorney. The department also brings investigators with national experience in these types of cases, which the state doesn’t have. If the DOJ does find criminal wrongdoing, the officers could potentially face federal charges (though, as FiveThirtyEight points out, that’s proven to be historically rare). But that’s not the only possible outcome, says Osler. Another would be issuing a report identifying problems in the system and making recommendations to prevent similar incidents from happening in the future.

Minneapolis Police Chief Janeé Harteau
MinnPost photo by Peter Callaghan
Minneapolis Police Chief Janeé Harteau stated at a Nov. 16 press conference that the BCA investigations aren’t a predetermination of guilt of the officers, but “everyone involved needs and deserves the truth and the facts.”

Was this Jamar Clark’s first encounter with police?
No. Clark has faced several criminal charges in the past. He was convicted of first-degree aggravated robbery in 2010 and terroristic threats-reckless disregard risk earlier this year, both felonies. In an interview with KARE-11, Clark’s brother said Jamar was “trying to get his life back together.”

How often do Minnesota police officers fatally shoot suspects?
Between 1994 and 2014, 115 people died in police shootings, according to data reported by the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (though the Pioneer Press recently pointed out that this dataset may be incomplete). The deadliest years over that 20-year period were 2009 and 2010, with 11 officer-related shootings each year. In 2014, seven people died in police shootings, according to the data. 

So why is this one getting so much more attention?
Partly due to the circumstances, but also because of the response from groups like Black Lives Matter. Many community leaders have likened the event to others around the country involving black victims, such as the case in Ferguson, Missouri, in which a white officer shot an unarmed black man. 

Why haven’t we seen the videos?
Investigators haven’t released them yet. As the Minnesota Coalition on Government Information points out, any video obtained by police falls under confidential investigative data,” which authorities don’t have to release.  That doesn’t mean we won’t see the footage eventually. When the investigation ends, the videos will automatically become public. Authorities could potentially release the videos earlier under data laws if they believe it will “aid with the law enforcement process, promote public safety, or dispel widespread rumor or unrest.”

Had the protests turned violent prior to the shooting Monday?
Before the shootings this week, the protests were mostly peaceful, but there were some reports of violence. Harteau said in a press conference on Nov. 19 that some demonstrators had thrown bottles, rocks, bricks and Molotov cocktails at officers and squad cars, causing serious damage to 12 police vehicles, two portable cameras and the Fourth Precinct building. There was also a report of shots fired near the protest site. In response, police have used measures like chemical irritant spray and non-lethal marking rounds, which are supposed to identify agitators. Some protestors have alleged further abuse by the police. Nekima Levy-Pounds, president of the NAACP, said that cops beat up two women in an alley. Levy-Pounds said there was video of the incident, though none has come to light so far.

Has Clark’s family responded to all of this? 
After the shooting Monday, Clark’s brother released a statement asking protestors to clear our for their own safety. Previously, Clark’s sister, Javille Burns, criticized protestors who have been destructive in a sit-down interview with KARE-11. “Violence begets violence,” she said. “I do not condone the people doing anything to hurt anybody, to destroy property — any of those things are not getting our message across, period.” She said the officer who shot her brother should be “tried and convicted as a murderer.” 

This story was originally published on Wednesday, Nov. 18. It was updated on Tuesday, Nov. 24.

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Comments (65)

  1. Submitted by Joel Stegner on 11/18/2015 - 01:06 pm.

    He said, she said

    We are at the stage we do not have complete and collaborated information on what happened, starting with why police were called to the scene in the first place. This is being carefully investigated by people not directly involved in the incident and they will come to conclusions, which frankly will be disputed by those who have already made up their minds about what happened.

    In the one place in life where replay is a big part of things (football), think about how many times despite having many camera angles and many eyes to see what happened, a tough call is made and many people still dislike and disagree with the decision. Let’s hope that this is one of the times where the evidence is clear and compelling..

    • Submitted by Tim Smith on 11/18/2015 - 02:55 pm.


      Enough of the hysteria and yelling, lets let the process work and the experts handle it in a timeframe that insures a sound decision.

  2. Submitted by Moira Heffron on 11/18/2015 - 03:13 pm.

    I still don’t understand

    why trained officers cannot deal with an unarmed person who is clearly out of control, for whatever reason, without shooting him in the head.

    • Submitted by Jackson Cage on 11/18/2015 - 04:55 pm.

      I’ll take your question seriously

      And hope it went sarcasm. Officers ARE trained to deal with those situations. However, with a person “clearly out of control” bad things can happen in an instant. And polive may need to go from reasonable.force to deadly force in the blink of an eye. It’s often the only choice to protect themselves and others.

      • Submitted by Bill Schletzer on 11/19/2015 - 08:33 am.

        Since the kid wasn’t armed…

        There was no reason for deadly force. It was the cops who were armed and if they had not been armed they could have restrained him without a weapon. They were protecting their weapons which they brought to the scene. And why not tase him?

        • Submitted by Alfred Sullivan on 11/20/2015 - 12:42 pm.

          Unarmed pollice?

          If you were in a tight spot with bad folks and needed the police to help you, do you really want them to arrive unarmed?

          • Submitted by Bill Schletzer on 11/24/2015 - 11:17 am.

            this wasn’t a killing situation…

            until the cop showed up with a gun and decided to kill someone to protect his gun. More than one cop was there. They could have controlled the guy with a taser or other nonlethal means.

            • Submitted by Rachel Kahler on 11/25/2015 - 08:55 am.

              You don’t know that

              If ANYONE knows that, it is a group of maybe 6 people, and one of them is dead. That’s what the investigation is for.

            • Submitted by Alfred Sullivan on 11/25/2015 - 11:56 am.

              Expect clairvoyant police?

              Mr. Schletzer, Do you really expect police to arrive at a disturbance as this one was reported and decide they probably won’t need guns for this call so they leave them in the patrol car? Look, I wasn’t there and neither were you so we can’t know which story to believe. But I don’t blame the police for having guns.

  3. Submitted by Tom Clarke on 11/18/2015 - 04:09 pm.

    choice of Jamar Clark photos?

    Thanks for this excellent summary of what is known about the shooting of Jamar Clark.

    The article as run in the Pioneer Press website includes a mug shot of Mr Clark (Jamar Clark (Hennepin County sheriff via AP). Why was this mugshot not run with the minnpost version? The minnpost photo of Mr. Clark and the mugshot seem much different. Thanks.

    • Submitted by Rachel Kahler on 11/19/2015 - 09:18 am.


      It’s likely that the picture chosen in each media site was chosen to adjust the bias level of readers of the respective articles. A mug shot suggests “guilty until proven [guilty or innocent]”, while an ordinary photo suggests “innocent until proven [guilty or innocent]”. I much prefer the latter. Yes, we know that Mr. Clark had a criminal background, as clearly indicated in this article, but that does not necessarily mean that he is the “bad guy” (if there is one) in this instance. Personally, I believe the strategy employed by the PP of using a mug shot rather than a regular photo was lazy at best, malicious at worst.

  4. Submitted by kelly barnhill on 11/18/2015 - 04:37 pm.

    Why on earth would you prefer a mug shot? That seems disrespectful to the dead. Similarly, media outlets typically don’t use drivers license photos in articles about someone who was killed. Because they’re lousy pictures. Better to have a photograph, chosen by the family, that captures a more accurate picture of their loved one.

  5. Submitted by Tom Anderson on 11/18/2015 - 06:38 pm.

    Two felony convictions in five years

    With the highest incarceration rate in the world (United States) how was this felon on the street trying to get at an assault victim in the care of paramedics?

    As for a picture of the man, I suggest that one from the videos that were taken would reflect the most accurate picture.

    • Submitted by Logan Foreman on 11/18/2015 - 10:38 pm.

      I would suggest that you wait for

      The BCA report for your comments. Fox is not a source.

    • Submitted by Bill Schletzer on 11/19/2015 - 08:36 am.

      so he had a prior felony for which he served a sentence

      Should he be locked up forever because of that?

      • Submitted by Tom Anderson on 11/19/2015 - 06:26 pm.


        I was just curious how (at least) two felony convictions within five years doesn’t land a person in jail for more than a few weeks. And domestic violence convictions almost automatically include “no contact” orders although it is quite possible the girlfriend being treated by paramedics was not the victim in the previous conviction.

        • Submitted by Paul Gustafson on 11/24/2015 - 12:55 pm.

          I think you answered your own question

          in the earlier post, “with the highest incarceration rate…” People often don’t serve the time they’re sentenced because of that incarceration rate.

  6. Submitted by Dee Ann Christensen on 11/18/2015 - 08:51 pm.


    I empathize with the African-American community. I recognize the proven issues of police bias in Ferguson and many other communities. I also understand that the black community has justified rage in these cases. But, in this case, nothing has been proven. Instead, l see an overreaction by Black Lives Matter in particular in shutting down the highway. One woman has said the victim was handcuffed. This is simply anecdotal not empirical evidence. I listened to an MPR interview where a Black Lives Matter leader was confronted with a question about where the evidence was. She simply repeated hyperbolic talking points: Jamar was handcuffed. Jamar was killed execution style.

    Only clear and convincing evidence should engender the disruption of society. We do not as yet have that evidence.

    • Submitted by Rachel Kahler on 11/19/2015 - 09:12 am.


      We don’t yet know what transpired. I can see that both claimed sets of circumstances are plausible, but both can’t be true (if either are true). Just because a person is unarmed (with their own weapon, anyway), doesn’t mean that there is no possible justification for deadly force. And just because a person wears a badge does not automatically mean that they are not also a criminal. One or both, or neither, of these things might be true in this instance, but we don’t know. But lots of potential and actual supporters of the idea behind BLM are being pushed away by the insistence that every instance of a young black man dying be handled like it’s a war against young black men and the police are always the enemy. That is simply not true in every case.

  7. Submitted by Bill Schletzer on 11/19/2015 - 08:39 am.

    Why not show the videos to a couple community leaders?

    They say they don’t want to contaminate witness accounts, but why not get a leader from the NAACP and BLM and show the videos if the videos would exonerate the two cops. Then those leaders could help settle down the protests. The rigidity of the handling of the investigation goes along with the rigidity of police response in a situation like this. Whether the guy was handcuffed or not, guns weren’t called for and would not have been used out in Wayzata or Edina.

    • Submitted by Rachel Kahler on 11/19/2015 - 12:15 pm.

      We don’t know

      I disagree that we know that guns weren’t called for. One of the risks of our law enforcement officers carrying guns is that they bring a weapon that can be used by someone else to every situation. It’s also untrue that an unarmed person can’t be deadly. Very few can be, but humans are very strong animals and can be very brutal. Even if they don’t kill a person, they can cause enough harm that deadly force may be justified.

      • Submitted by Bill Schletzer on 11/24/2015 - 11:21 am.

        so start shootin’…

        to prevent what you think may happen. White people can be rude and obnoxious too, but they aren’t getting shot out in Edina. There’s an inherent bias to see the black guy as more dangerous and that leads the cops to be more willing to shoot. In Edina the guy would have been tased at most.

  8. Submitted by Tim Milner on 11/19/2015 - 09:01 am.

    While not diminishing the need for proper police response

    I really wish Black Live Matter cared as much about the female assault victim, who’s need for medical attention caused the situation, as it cares for Mr Clark treatment by police.

    Because I have not heard ONE comment about her.

    • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 11/19/2015 - 11:19 am.

      “Not Diminishing”

      Actually, by bringing up another issue and wondering why it’s not given more attention, you are “diminishing the need for proper police response.” What happened to Mr. Clark’s victim is important, but it is an entirely different issue, to be dealt with in other venues. No matter what Mr. Clark did, the “proper police response” surely would not have included summary execution.

      • Submitted by Richard Callahan on 11/19/2015 - 07:34 pm.

        “Summary execution”? You were there? You know this for sure? This is very serious and I’m sure the officers who you know for sure murdered this man will be duly tried and convicted. Your sworn testimony will be of great value.

        • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 11/20/2015 - 09:35 am.

          Calm Down

          The “summary execution” conclusion is the worst-case description of what happened. I don’t know what happened any more than those who would write this off as just the killing of another bad guy

  9. Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 11/19/2015 - 09:21 am.


    Police ARE trained to escalate force when confronted with non-compliance, and that training was not always the dominant policing model. They’re not trained to obtain compliance with certain methods, they’re trained to escalate their violence until they get compliance. This is policy that citizens tacitly endorsed, it’s not a product of bad cops. We moved towards a military style of policing in the early 90s and it was obviously a mistake.

    None of this may have a lot of bearing on this particular case, but many of these shooting are the product of police being trained that they can eliminate risk in inherently risky situations…by shooting people.

    • Submitted by Rachel Kahler on 11/19/2015 - 01:54 pm.

      War on drugs

      Military policing seemed necessary because we were in a war…the War on Drugs. In hindsight, it seems to be an over reaction. Coming off of the ’70’s and ’80’s, though, where gang wars and hijackings were relatively common, it *might* seemed reasonable. Plus, we didn’t really have a good war to use all the new gadgets we’d developed until the First Gulf War. Honestly, though, even in foresight, it probably shouldn’t have seemed reasonable.

    • Submitted by Bill Schletzer on 11/24/2015 - 11:25 am.

      one trouble I see…

      is that the escalation pyramid as no ceiling so that if things keep going bad someone gets shot for something that started as a misdemeanor or traffic stop. The response should fit the suspected crime.

      • Submitted by Mark Kulda on 11/24/2015 - 01:02 pm.

        How do you know its a misdemeanor traffic stop?

        There have been many police officers, sheriff’s deputies and state troopers who have been killed by motorists who were pulled over for ‘misdemeanor traffic stops.’ It might be helpful for people who don’t understand the use of police force to take advantage of citizen police academies where you can see firsthand the training officers are given. Many times as part of if you get subjected to the ‘shoot/don’t shoot’ training where you are put in mock ups of potential real life situations and you get to make the split second decisions officers are very routinely faced with. It gives many people a new appreciation about how hard it is to make those split second decisions and calls attention to the fallacy of those who want to judge that decision with much hindsight and ability to consider factors that were not apparent during the split second.

  10. Submitted by mike schoonover on 11/20/2015 - 08:48 am.

    product of the environment

    This the direct result of the hostility that has been shown to the police starting in the late sixties. It started with the the name calling,”PIG”. Then the dehumanizing of them. Then the teaching to our children to disrespect all authority figures especially the police each and every time you had an encounter with them for any reason what so ever. Demand respect from everyone but show no respect to anyone. I grew up on the street. You learned if you got into an encounter with a officer you escalated it in any way possible. If they hauled off and belted you there was an outside chance a police brutality charge might mitigate any charges brought against you. A smart lawyer might even be able to negotiate a settlement.
    Today this has been ingrained in some cultures to such and extent its become a life style choice. All cops are out to get you. All cops are bad. The result of this is predictable. When you demonize and brutalize a segment of society ( the police) violent incidents are bound to happen. The attitude of the police to the community are a direct result of the community’s attitude to the police. Until the community starts addressing its problems from within there will be no change. You can’t do it. I can’t do it. Government can’t do it. More money can’t do it. Apparently no one wants the police to do it.

  11. Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 11/20/2015 - 10:45 am.

    Yes and No

    There are certainly some cultural and subcultural aspects to this, but one of the cleanest and easiest factors to address is still the training.

    Somewhere (I forget where) a deputy was just acquited after shooting an unarmed elderly white guy who was laying on ground. This had nothing do with culture, attitudes, disrespect, or authority etc. The guy was drunk and didn’t keep his hands in sight, so she shot and killed him. That’s training, she didn’t want to kill somebody, she was clearly distressed by it, but you don’t expect people to ignore their training when they get into potentially dangerous situation. Police are trained to demand compliance and escalate up to and including lethal force until they get it. Police encountering Rodney King today would probably shoot and kill him (remember, we’ve taken the clubs they beat him with away). Escalating force like that does not HAVE to be policy, it’s doesn’t have to be the focus of training.

  12. Submitted by Ray Schoch on 11/20/2015 - 01:34 pm.

    All of this commentary

    …provides ample support for the English notion that police officers should generally not be armed. Had no gun been conveniently available, neither Mr. Clark nor the shooter (Nothing I’ve read so far identifies the officer who actually shot Clark) would likely – not certainly, but likely – have been able to inflict fatal injury. The NRA, of course, will find such a suggestion ludicrous, so let’s move on…

    Interesting comments by several, but the main point, by Ms. Kahler and others, deserves repetition.

    We do not know.

    As a certified old person who has observed this dramatic change over several decades, I’m inclined to agree with Mr. Udstrand and Ms. Kahler about police training. Police forces have become so much more militarized over the past generation that a time traveler from the days of my youth (i.e., the 1950s) would be astonished, and probably appalled.

    The training given to officer candidates has been transformed in similar fashion. It’s a very tough job, made tougher by both different standards in both police forces and the larger society, and by greatly increased demands being placed on individual officers. That said, another change evident over the past generation has been the rise of what I’ll call, for lack of a better term, “cowboy policing.” I’ve never been in law enforcement, so I can’t speak to the motivation(s) for it, but over the years, the number of “shoot first, ask questions later” incidents involving the police seems – I’ve no statistical data to back this up, it’s just my perception – to have increased several fold. I’m not referring to pitched gun battles, but situations like this one, wherein an unarmed person is shot to death by a police officer. The abysmally-failed “war on drugs” may well be at least partially responsible for that escalation in the use of deadly force.

    It might be useful to have Andy Mannix do some research to find out the per/capita or other useful metric use of “deadly force” by the police over each of the past several decades. Maybe police shootings were just as common in 1978, per 100,000 people, or whatever standard we might want to use, as they seem to be now, but my perception is that this is a fairly recent phenomenon.

    I can’t agree with the thinly-veiled racism in Mr. Schoonover’s comment that “…Today this [lack of respect for authority] has been ingrained in some cultures to such and [sic] extent it[’]s become a life style choice.” Gosh, I wonder what “cultures” he’s referring to? I do think that lack of respect for authority can be an outcome from some family contexts, but I don’t see it in any sort of larger “cultural” environment. Young people in general tend to have noticeably less respect for authority than their parents and grandparents. Socrates complained of that same lack of respect 2,500 years ago, so I don’t think it’s something that can be attached to a particular “culture” or ethnic group. The black and other minority people I’ve encountered and spoken to in my 4th precinct neighborhood seem just as interested in an orderly and civilized society as I am.

    Until further information in presented to the public from a genuinely credible source, however, the fact remains that we just don’t know what happened, or how.

  13. Submitted by Alfred Sullivan on 11/20/2015 - 04:04 pm.

    Great Britain is different.

    You make a lot of good points. I will observe that because of gun laws in the UK it would be extremely rare for their police to encounter armed criminals. There are some, and they do arm some police. In this country many criminals are armed. Whether anyone likes it or not, there are so many guns here that criminals will likely always have access to them no matter what our future laws are. And presently it is not hard to get guns legally or illegally.

    • Submitted by Ray Schoch on 11/20/2015 - 06:52 pm.


      Thanks, Mr. Sullivan. I’m aware of the differences from England, but the point seemed so obvious that I thought I should at least get it out there. In 300 years, if the U.S. still exists in some recognizable form, maybe it will be more civilized than at present. We have as many guns as people, if not more, and I own and shoot more than my share, but I don’t worship them. In any case, I don’t think guns are going to go away any time soon in the U.S.

  14. Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 11/21/2015 - 10:07 am.

    Problem is…

    “It might be useful to have Andy Mannix do some research to find out the per/capita or other useful metric use of “deadly force” by the police over each of the past several decades. ”

    Mr. Schoch is right, that would be useful. Problem is that information is NOT readily available because police department and chiefs all over the country refuse to collect and share that information. I remember trying to check into this a couple years ago and at that time I could only find a couple studies, but they limited by the fact that they had to rely news accounts instead of official data collected by the Justice Department. Anytime someone tries to make departments collect the data the NRA and others push back. So what kind of “transparency” it that?

    There is one article from USA today (2014) that claimed police killings were the highest they’ve been in two decades for two years in a row. This is interesting given the fact that violent crime is actually the lowest it’s been in two decades. That would on the face of it indicate that while criminal violence and decreased, police violence has been rising. But again there are glitches in the database because reporting is voluntary and spotty.


  15. Submitted by Peter Roland on 11/21/2015 - 04:55 pm.

    Jamar Clark Shooting

    Jamar Clark had been trying to escape a troubled past, and reaching for the officers weapon was clear proof of it. ???

    • Submitted by richard owens on 11/22/2015 - 02:01 pm.

      Justified violence?

      Even if Jamar had tried to escape before (his charge prior to the shooting I think was interfering in a police matter), there is no need to try to justify extrajudicial killing by police.

      Police act in OUR interest and with OUR consent.

      When we the governed no longer see their actions as in our interest or with our consent, they act alone.

      • Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 11/23/2015 - 08:15 am.

        I have to disagree to some extent.

        We actually authorize extrajudicial killing, law enforcement ARE authorized to use deadly force, and we can imagine a variety of situations wherein such force IS justified. We have no idea whether or not Jamar tried to escape, it’s unlikely that a mere escape attempt got him shot, more likely a failure to follow a lawful order to leave or step back brought him into conflict with the police, the ambulance crew called the police for a reason.

        Policing is about enforcing the law, we don’t expect officers will perform a philosophical analysis of the situation, i.e. “what do the ‘governed’ think about this?”, we give police laws and we tell them to enforce them, and how to enforce them.

        I don’t think this is about police officers dissociating themselves from expectations, this is about decades of expectations finally blowing back on the community. The majority of Americans bought into the Law and Order, broken windows, war on drugs, etc. etc. for decades and this has obviously had consequences you can’t just blame on “cops”.

        And I hate to say but I’m not a big fan of violence against women. If Jamal did in fact assault a women to the point where she required hospitalization, I have a hard time seeing him as some kind of “innocent” victim of police procedure. I’m not saying he deserves to be killed, but I don’t see how violence against women is in the “governed” best interest?

        • Submitted by Russ Hilbert on 11/24/2015 - 01:58 pm.

          I would agree

          The majority of americans did buy into law and order unfortunately it seems like the protesters would prefer to have some kind of favoritism and have laws not apply to them. Their demand for the videos so they can come to their own conclusions reeks of issuing their own justice separate from the courts. They would prefer to doll out vigilante justice and bypass proper process based on nothing more than how they feel rather than relying on facts.

    • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 11/24/2015 - 11:13 am.

      Clear Proof

      Thus goes the narrative of the Police Federation. What happened to waiting until all the facts were made available?

      And yes, I know what is meant when the “trying to escape a troubled past” line is repeated. Smirk.

  16. Submitted by gigi hansen on 11/24/2015 - 02:29 pm.

    Normal young men

    that I know, do not break their girlfriends’ ankles nor do they beat them up. And if there were a reason for the girlfriend to have called 911, because she felt she needed paramedics, the young men that I know, would wait patiently with her and be supportive.
    There is just so much wrong with this young man’s behavior, that the police responding to the call could reasonably expect that they would be entering into a violent situation. It is within the police officer’s training, and society’s expectation, that they will subdue any citizen who is acting violently, and we as a society give police officers the right, moreover, the expectation, that they will in fact use deadly force, to accomplish their task.
    And none of this has anything to do, at all, with skin color, and everything to do with exhibited behaviors. In society, if anyone acts violently and irrationally, and perhaps reaches for an officer’s gun, you may be tasered, or you may be shot. It the 3 seconds it takes for a violent person to make a choice to go for a gun, the officers do not have the luxury of pressing a hold button to stop and think about what will people say about this. The officers have a right to preserve their own lives, as well as the lives of bystanders which included the assault victim and paramedics treating her.
    The suspect lost his right to walking away free that day, because of his own actions of beating up his girlfriend. He could be alive and in a holding cell, except for the problem that, if it is true, he reached for the officer’s gun–or if the officers perception within 3 seconds was that he was reaching for the gun–then the officers were justified in using deadly force to prevent harm to other people. I have served on a Grand Jury in Minnesota and the officers are completely allowed to shoot suspects who are behaving in a threatening manner.

    • Submitted by Rachel Kahler on 11/25/2015 - 09:12 am.

      “If true”

      If it is true that Jamar went for an officer’s gun, then I agree that the shooting was justified. If he did not, as has been discovered in other similar situations, then it was (probably) not justified. Even though I do have my suspicions based on why the cops and paramedics were there in the first place, as strongly as I feel about people who abuse their significant others, instant death isn’t the punishment. The difficulty is that we’ve all formed an opinion of the situation, while the reality is that they are just opinions and we simply do not know what the situation was.

      IF, indeed, Jamar was shot as a result of an attempt to get an officer’s gun (or even made a suspicious move toward a gun, given the violence that led the police and paramedic presence), then the BLM protests and cause will seem far less justified. That is a shame because there is a real reason for protest. I just am not sure this is one of them….and neither are they.

  17. Submitted by Lisa Harrington on 11/24/2015 - 10:18 pm.

    what about his domestic assault victim?

    What about the woman who was assaulted? Why is her story not in the news? She was attacked by Jamar Clark and was receiving medical attention in an ambulance when he tried to attack her again. Why is her voice silenced?

    • Submitted by John Appelen on 11/26/2015 - 09:27 am.


      The convicted felon gets the sympathy and benefit of a doubt by these folks, while they want to convict the police before the investigation is complete and ignore her.

      • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 11/30/2015 - 11:18 am.

        “Benefit of a doubt?”

        There are credible allegations that this convicted felon was shot to death while handcuffed. These allegations, made as they are in a climate in which police brutality towards African Americans is becoming more widely publicized, should be investigated.

        Or are you implying that he had it coming? Assuming that he was guilty of domestic abuse, that does not make him a candidate for capital punishment.

        • Submitted by Russ Hilbert on 11/30/2015 - 02:15 pm.


          That depends on if you call allegations from people that weren’t even there credible. Even if they were credible and able to be substantiated does that mean we need to put up with weeks of protests and insane demands from these individuals when it appears by all accounts that this incident is being investigated properly? Who are we giving the benefit of the doubt to now? Just because other incidents have been more widely publicized does not mean this one is not being investigated. What the protesters have done is what is called “jumping to conclusions”. That is what the investigation is trying to avoid.

          • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 11/30/2015 - 02:47 pm.

            “[D]oes that mean we need to put up with . . .”

            ” . . . weeks of protests and insane demands from these individuals . . .?”

            Since the First Amendment has not been repealed, the answer has to be “yes.” “We” have to “put up” with “these individuals” regardless of whether you have accepted the official narrative that everything is under control.

            Frankly, they are no different than the tea partiers. A bunch of noisome individuals made a lot of “insane demands: and garnered a lot of attention by their “weeks of protests.” I disagreed with them (okay, I thought most of them were a bunch of whiny buffoons), but there was no question in my mind that “we” had to “put up” with them.

            • Submitted by Russ Hilbert on 11/30/2015 - 04:13 pm.


              I would agree that they have 1st amendment rights and also that they are a bunch of noisome individuals making insane demands. I think you missed my point though. My point was that it is utterly ridiculous that they receive this much media attention and they are accommodated so well since it is evident that the shooting is being investigated fully and there is no indication whatsoever that it isn’t. I also think it is ridiculous that their organization has gained such legitimacy while protesting such ridiculous things and demanding ridiculous things and they are gaining assistance from national organizations as well. To put it simply, they are protesting, causing problems for many other people, breaking the law on some occasions (possibly trivial) for several weeks for no reason at all.

              • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 11/30/2015 - 05:01 pm.

                Accommodated so well

                I think I’m still missing your point. Are you saying that things like accommodation of protesters, the level of (voluntary) media attention, and legitimacy afforded an organization depends on some pre-determination of the validity of claims?

                • Submitted by Jackson Cage on 12/01/2015 - 08:34 am.

                  Now I’m missing your point…

                  The protesters have been “accommodated” despite damaging police cars, spray painting the police station, issuing death threats and blocking streets against the wishes of their own community. The protesters have been “accommodated” despite supporters like the Mayor, Ellison, and other black leaders telling them it’s time to go. The protesters have been “accommodated” when every demand but one has been met. That, my friend, is why the organization has no legitimacy.

                  • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 12/01/2015 - 10:56 am.


                    And what do we do about an organization that has, in the eyes of some, no “legitimacy?” Who gets to decide that, anyway?

                    • Submitted by Jackson Cage on 12/01/2015 - 11:28 am.

                      Who decides legitimacy? That’s easy

                      That issue is decided by everyone willing to look at the issue dispassionately with the hope of creating some real solutions. And that ain’t happening with anyone camped out at the 4th Precinct.

                      Grown-ups who sincerely want to address the problem are “legitimate:. They identify a problem, then propose “demands” or offer solutions. Again, every demand but one has been met. So there really are no more demands or wants. Let’s wait for the findings to come out, then discuss what needs to happen after that. So far, all that people like Levy Ponds have done is showboat.

                    • Submitted by Russ Hilbert on 12/01/2015 - 11:36 am.


                      I think it is up to whoever is in charge of public safety (police?) to decide that. I think Mr. Jackson laid it out pretty well for you. It would be pretty hard to call it a legitimate organization or protest if you are doing things like that yet they were provided tents and outhouses and not forced to disperse while they were doing these things.

                    • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 12/01/2015 - 11:50 am.

                      So . . .

                      Censorship. Or, if you prefer, an allowable range of opinions.

                    • Submitted by Russ Hilbert on 12/01/2015 - 01:30 pm.


                      Don’t put words in our mouths for us that we are not saying at all. At no point did I say they should be censored. I merely pointed out that you can’t call them a legitimate organization and that their protest is not legitimate due to their own actions. They are simply hypocrites. I never said there should be no protesting allowed. Protesting is not what they are doing at all.

                    • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 12/02/2015 - 09:34 am.


                      When you arrogate to yourself the authority to decide whose organization or protest is “legitimate,” you are verging very closely to determination of an orthodoxy.

                      As far as hypocrisy goes, there’s a big club of organizations guilty of that one.

                    • Submitted by Russ Hilbert on 12/02/2015 - 11:01 am.

                      legitimate protest

                      They did that themselves with their actions.

                      I really don’t care if there are other organizations that are guilty of being hypocrites. We aren’t discussing those here.

  18. Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 12/01/2015 - 08:59 am.


    That’s actually the problem, BLM lacks credibility. As a matter of fact and logic one cannot assign: “credibility” to these accusations until the investigation is complete and the claims are substantiated. We had all kinds of “witnesses” to an execution in Ferguson until people were under oath… At which point all those “witnesses” admitted they didn’t actually anything, and the witnesses that saw something did NOT see an execution.

    I personally have a hard time assigning credibility to people who are ignoring a violent assault in an effort to convert a guy who beats up women into a “cause célèbre”.

    Frankly these “demands” make no sense. All police homicides are investigated as a matter of required procedure. Demonstrators seem to be trying to declare that ALL fatal police shootings are involving black males are executions and the only possible “justice” is prison time for the officers involved. If not, what’s the point?

  19. Submitted by Jackson Cage on 12/01/2015 - 11:31 am.

    Who’d have thunk it?

    “My facts and opinions are absolutely right and there’s zero tolerance from any view other than mine.” Who’d have ever thought there would be an overlap between BLM and the Tea Party.

    • Submitted by John Appelen on 12/05/2015 - 10:23 am.


      I thought that was a humorous comparison. I must have missed the Tea Party events where they walked out and shutdown major highways, shutdown access to police stations, etc.

      It is true that both groups definitely believe they are correct, no matter what the masses believe.

  20. Submitted by Jon Lord on 12/03/2015 - 02:45 pm.

    going forward

    There should be no question that police carried cameras must be the answer from here on out. From Jan. 1st 2016. Always on in any situation involving another person. They should also be shown to the public as soon as possible when shots are fired or someone is beaten. Not weeks but days at most. It’s going to protect both the citizen and the police from any questions about the situation and how it occurred. That should be a no brainer. Obviously, without a doubt, when withheld from public view there will be questions about why. And those questions will remain the longer the video is withheld regardless of what anyone else thinks.

  21. Submitted by John Appelen on 12/05/2015 - 10:19 am.


    Randy, Jackson and RB,
    That was an excellent exchange.

    I do not think anyone wants to limit the freedoms of the protestors to do so legally. However I do not think most people support their shutting down major highways, preventing customers from going to the local police station, forcing dozens of police officers to work precinct security who should be out keeping their city safe, etc. Especially when the BLM protesters seem to have no point to their actions.

    The authorities are working the case per the process and will announce their findings as soon as they are available. The BLM folks threatening officers, stopping traffic, blocking precinct business, etc is just harming their community and accomplishing little other than to make themselves feel better.

  22. Submitted by Andrea Morisette Grazzini on 12/06/2015 - 04:18 pm.

    POLICE: Molotov cocktails were NOT thrown by protesters

    This is terribly frustrating.

    In a press conference, show in links below, the police chief explicitly said that the Molotov cocktails were thrown by anarchists. And, has said more than once that at least some of the gun fire they’d heard was likely from them, too.

    How did you and other Minnesota miss this?!




    • Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 12/07/2015 - 12:55 pm.


      Is anyone here actually claiming that BLM threw the fire bombs? As for “protesters” it depends; the two most likely scenarios are: 1) the fire bombs were thrown by police provocateurs or 2) They were thrown by protesters, regardless of affiliation with BLM. We can imagine other scenarios, white supremacist’s (that kind of falls under the “provocateur” scenario), or bored hooligans of some kind just taking advantage of a situation to throw a bomb at the cops.

      Anyways no one seems to know who threw the bombs, and I haven’t seen anyone here claim it was BLM affiliated demonstrators, it’s a long thread though so I may have missed it.

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