BLM Protests set to continue

Black Lives Matter protests set to continue throughout the week.

Hannah Schacherl

Since Minneapolis police officers fatally shot Jamar Clark on Nov. 15, protesters have continuously staged protests outside the department’s Fourth Precinct station and have demanded video footage of the incident.

 

Clark’s funeral will take place Wednesday, and his family requested that no protests take place that day. But some protesters said the demonstrations will continue at least through Thursday evening, when protesters plan to march from the Fourth Precinct to the city government buildings downtown.

 

“This is a people’s movement and we have to do what the people want,” protester Jacob Laddea said. “That means we will still be here on Wednesday.”

 

Demonstrators gathered around fire pits and passed out hand warmers on Monday during the eighth day of protests.

 

Law enforcement has said that officers shot Clark while he was trying to disarm police, but protesters maintain that Clark was handcuffed.   

 

Releasing the footage would be “extremely detrimental to the investigation,” U.S. Attorney Andrew Luger said in a statement in association with the FBI and Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights.

 

Gov. Mark Dayton met with Black Lives Matter leaders and Clark’s family on Saturday, according to a statement he released the same day.

 

In the statement, he asked the leaders and Clark’s family to meet with the U.S. Department of Justice Attorneys that following Sunday.

 

“I will urge that the tapes be provided to the family and released to the public, as soon as doing so will not jeopardize the Department of Justice’s investigation,” Dayton said in the statement.

 

Dayton will meet with representatives of Black Lives Matter and Neighborhoods Organizing for Change in December to address their concerns, he said in the statement.

 

“I will also urge the Department of Justice lawyers and the U.S. Attorney to investigate any matters, which occurred in Minneapolis during the past week that may have violated the civil rights of any Minnesota citizens,” he said in the statement.

 

Police Chief Janee Harteau released a statement in response supporting her officers’ conduct during the protests.

 

“Any investigation, federal, state, or county into my officers’ conduct at the 4th Precinct during this time will only confirm the strength of the work my officers did protecting both public safety and the freedom of speech,” she said in a statement.

 

In addition to the release of the tapes, protester Tammy Finn  said a desire for justice led her to the police station.

 

“They took somebody from our community, and we need justice for that,” she said.

 

Laddea said he wants justice not only for Clark, but for all cases of police brutality.  

“We need change for all because I believe the police can offer the protection and service they project instead of hiding behind a mask of injustice,” Laddea said.