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Twin Cites protesters confront plan for grand jury in the police killing of Jamar Clark

By Jess Sundin |
February 20, 2016
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Jodie Carroll, Brettina Davis and Wesley Martin
Jodie Carroll, Brettina Davis and Wesley Martin face off with Hennepin County Attorney’s office staff (Photo by Jess Sundin)
Crowd presses into offices of Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman
Crowd presses into offices of Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman

Minneapolis, MN - More than 50 people descended on the office of Hennepin County Prosecutor Mike Freeman, Feb. 19, for the second Friday in a row, to demand that he prosecute Mark Ringgenberg and Dustin Schwarze, the Minneapolis police officers that killed Jamar Clark. Protesters addressed their demands to two staff members. Speaking for the Twin Cities Coalition for Justice for Jamar, Jodie Carroll presented the groups’ position and Brettina Davis asked where Mike Freeman was – apparently he was out sick.

Davis asked Wesley Martin to come forward, “This gentleman was one of the people shot at the Fourth Precinct demanding justice for Jamar Clark. I just want to introduce you guys to him, and maybe if Mike Freeman is here next week, I can introduce Wes to him as well.”

Davis and Carroll asked about plans for charging Ringgenberg and Schwarze.

Initially, Lolita Ulloa of the county attorney’s office said it was not yet decided whether this case would go to a grand jury. After being challenged that other sources said differently, Ulloa admitted, “As of today, the process is that it will go to the grand jury.” According to her, the case files are being reviewed and processed, but have not yet been presented to a grand jury.

One protester asked, “How many police have been prosecuted as result of a grand jury?” When she failed to answer, several in the crowd said, “Zero!” Ulloa answered, “I think for our process, that is what it is today.”

Carroll answered, “We want the police to be prosecuted. We want justice for Jamar. No grand jury.” Protesters filed out, chanting, “No grand jury!” From there, protesters took to the skyways, chanting as they passed hundreds of downtown workers on lunch breaks.

They pledged to return the following week, starting with a massive call-in effort scheduled for Monday. Supporters are urged to call Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman at 612-348-2146 and demand prosecution of Mark Ringgenberg and Dustin Schwarze, the Minneapolis police who killed Jamar Clark.

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