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Jamar Clark remembered on his 26th birthday

By S. Sanchez |
May 7, 2017
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Memorial site at Plymouth and James - where Jamar Clark was murdered by the Minneapolis Police Department. (Fight Back! News/Staff)

Minneapolis, MN - On May 3, 100 people gathered together for a demonstration remembering Jamar Clark’s 26th birthday. The event was called by the Twin Cities Coalition for Justice for Jamar (TCC4J) who took up organizing and won the ‘No Grand Jury’ campaign after the Fourth Precinct Occupation.

The demonstration began at 8 p.m. across the from the Minneapolis Police Department Fourth Precinct headquarters. After a crowd had gathered, they then took to the streets chanting Jamar Clark’s name. The crowd marched down to Plymouth and James, the site where Jamar Clark was murdered on Nov. 15, 2015 by killer cops Mark Ringgenberg and Dustin Schwarze. A program was held at the memorial site and then a march back to the Fourth Precinct ended the action after 10 p.m.

Several activists from the Fourth Precinct occupation, Black Lives Matter-Saint Paul, Minneapolis NAACP, Justice Occupation for Philando, Native Lives Matter Grassroots, and Justice for Marcus Golden, joined the Twin Cities Coalition for Justice for Jamar at the demonstration. Community members also came out and joined the march led by the Twin Cities Coalition for Justice for Jamar and included nearly 20 members of the Burns family.

The protest at the Fourth Precinct started with music from the Black Lives Matter movement, including Kenrick Lamar’s Alright and Vic Mensa’s 16 Shots.

Monique Cullars Doty, aunt of Marcus Golden who was murdered by the Saint Paul Police Department, and member of the Twin Cities Coalition for Justice Jamar and Black Lives Matter Saint Paul, spoke on the role police play in protecting property and the ruling class.

Nekima Levy-Pounds, 2015-16 Minneapolis NAACP president spoke on the role of the community in holding police accountable for their actions.

Members from the Twin Cities Coalition for Justice for Jamar also spoke on the role that TCC4J, other community groups, and the twin cities community played in winning the No Grand Jury campaign in the Jamar Clark case and the precedent it set for the movement against police crimes. Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman had told the activist community that there would be a grand jury for the murder of Jamar Clark and no one would be able to change it. However, the work of TCC4J did change it and led to Freeman indicating he wouldn’t have grand juries in future cases where police murders members of the community. This victory was integral in the prosecution of Geronimo Yanez, the police offider who killed Philando Castile on July 6, 2016.

After the speeches, the community took to the street. At Plymouth and James - where Jamar Clark was murdered by the Minneapolis Police Department, several members of the Burns family joined TCC4J and the community in decorating the memorial site and lighting over 200 candles along the boulevard.

Levy-Pounds led a prayer as additional family and community members came out to join TCC4J and others from the movement to fight police crimes and fight for Black Lives. Jayanthi Kyle shared a freestyle rendition of one of her songs and A Day’s Gonna Come When I Don’t March No More. TCC4J members spoke on Trump’s racist edicts targeting the Black Lives Matter movement and making room for police to suppress activist movements. A call was made to continue the fight against the police crimes and to fight against white supremacists.

After march back to the Fourth Precinct, chants of “Black lives matter” and “Jamar Clark” continued. The community shut down both lanes of traffic in front of the Fourth precinct and commenced in securing the road. Jayanthi Kyle and youth from the Minnesota Governor’s mansion occupation for Philando Castile led further songs and chants. Chantyll Allen from BLM-Saint Paul led the Assatta Shakur “Fight for Our Freedom” chant. As fireworks were lit, Satara Strong from BLM Saint Paul Youth Squad led Fred Hampton’s “I am a Revolutionary” chant.

The event ended at 10 p.m. However, the community remained gathered in the street.