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Week of action to honor Jamar Clark, demand end to police terror

#JusticeThruJamar
By Linden Gawboy |
November 13, 2018
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 Press conference kicks of week of action to honor Jamar Clark.
Press conference kicks of week of action to honor Jamar Clark. Press conference kicks of week of action to honor Jamar Clark.

Minneapolis, MN - The week for #JusticeThruJamar kicked off with a news conference on November 12. Dozens of people gathered outside Minneapolis City Hall, in one of the first cold spells of winter, to announce a week of actions centered around the memory of Jamar Clark, who was murdered by Minneapolis police officers on November 15, 2015.

The week of actions, organized the Twin Cities Coalition for Justice for Jamar Clark (TCC4J) is focused on the demands: Reopen the case surrounding the murder of Jamar and prosecute Minneapolis Police Department officers Dustin Schwarze and Mark Ringgenberg. Stop police terror in our communities – justice for all victims of police violence. Community Control of the Police – actual, community control, not the current rubber-stamp systems that exist.

Emcee Minister Toya Woodland read the statement from the TCC4J, “We demand that Mike Freeman go back and prosecute [officers] Mark Ringgenberg and Dustin Schwarze for the death of Jamar Clark. But that’s not enough, we want justice for all victims of police violence. On Friday, we had two more local men die at the hands of police, which brings a grim sense of urgency to our work.”

Woodland was referring to the recent murders of Travis Jordan and James Hanchett. TCC4J and the other organizations are demanding that the officers who killed the men be prosecuted for murder.

Speakers included Tiffany Burns, sister of Jamar Clark; Trahern Crews, Black Lives Matter-MN; Gabriel Black Elk, Native Lives Matter; Katherine Hamberg, Justice for Justine Damond; Hani Ali, Black Visions Collective; Jan Nye, Communities United Against Police Brutality; and Nekima Levy Armstrong, civil rights attorney and founder of the Racial Justice Network.

On November 15, 2015, 24-year-old Jamar Clark was shot in the head within 61 seconds of the beginning of an encounter with Minneapolis Police Department officers Schwarze and Ringgenberg. In the 18 days that followed, community members occupied the Fourth Precinct police station in North Minneapolis.

James Clark said of his son, “There can never be justice for Jamar, but maybe we can win justice through Jamar.” A statement from TCC4J declares, “Our hearts go out to both sides of Jamar’s family, and all those who loved him. Thousands of people in Minneapolis and beyond have been forever changed.”

Some of the actions planned for the week include: a public speak out and banner hanging at the Hennepin County Government Center on Tuesday, Nov. 13, to get the message to County Attorney Freeman that he must re-open the case; a “61-seconds for Justice” a call-in day Nov. 14 to the county attorney (Jamar’s murderers killed him 61 seconds after they arrived on the scene); on Nov. 15, the three-year anniversary of Jamar Clark’s killing there will be an evening vigil at the site (Plymouth and James); and a community meeting on Saturday, Nov. 17 to talk about community control of the police.

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