More than 50 people were arrested Monday night after protests erupted over the police shooting of Jamar Clark, a Black man witnesses say was handcuffed and unarmed when he was shot in the head by a Minneapolis officer Sunday.
Scores of protesters took to Interstate 94 to shut down the busy freeway, calling for the release of video that shows the moment Clark was shot. The shutdown, attended by nearly 300 protesters, began at 7:00 p.m., USA Today reports. In the end, 43 adults and eight juveniles were arrested and charged with unlawful assembly and pedestrian on the freeway, the state patrol confirmed.
Details surrounding the shooting differ greatly between law enforcement and witnesses. Officers, who were responding to a call of a woman being assaulted by a man early Sunday morning, say they were told Clark was interfering with paramedics, who were attempting to transport the woman. When police arrived, a struggle ensued. Clark was shot by an officer. But protesters say Clark was handcuffed during the incident, a detail police dispute.
“Every witness account I heard said he was handcuffed. Every witness account. Put a knee on him and shot in the head. That’s the account I’ve heard from young people, older people …,” said Jason Sole, criminal justice chair for the Minneapolis NAACP.
James Hill, Clark’s father, confirmed to the Associated Press that his son is currently on life support.
Protests and disputed reports have prompted Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges to ask the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice and the U.S. attorney for Minnesota to open a federal investigation into the shooting to increase “transparency and community confidence in the outcome of this investigation.”
The two unnamed officers involved in the shooting have been placed on paid leave. They were not wearing body cameras, USA Today reports.