Officer’s Attorney: Jamar Clark had Control of Officer’s Gun

An attorney for one of the two officers involved in the fatal shooting of Jamar Clark says that Clark had control of the officer’s gun during a struggle with police which left him dead. 

Minneapolis Police Officers Mark Ringgenberg and Dustin Schwarze were involved in the shooting of Clark. 

Clark was shot in the head Sunday night. Police say he was a suspect in a domestic assault and was shot after allegedly interfering with paramedics who were trying to provide first aid to the victim. 

Frederic Bruno, attorney for Schwarze, released a statement Thursday saying that when officers arrived, Clark refused to show his hands or comply with police orders.

“While he was being legally detained, he chose to resist, fight officers, and to seize control of an officer’s firearm.  Mr. Clark was given multiple opportunities to desist; instead he chose to engage officers in a life-or-death struggle for an officer’s weapon,” said Bruno. 

The shooting prompted protests after some witnesses said the man was handcuffed and not resisting when he was shot.

Bruno and Robert Kroll, President of the Police Officers Federation of Minneapolis, dispute that. 

“This event should have been a peaceful encounter.  It was the actions and choices of Mr. Clark alone which determined it’s outcome,” said Bruno. 

Bruno pointed out that Clark has an extensive criminal history.  

He pleaded guilty to First Degree Aggravated Robbery in 2010 and served more than three years behind bars.  In April of this year, he pleaded guilty to a Felony Terroristic Threats charge.  As part of the sentencing, a Domestic Abuse No Contact Order was served, requiring him to stay away from the victim until 2020.

On November 15, Clark was involved in another domestic, sending the victim to the hospital with a broken ankle, among other injuries.  The event led to Clark being shot after he was intimidating paramedics. 

The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension is investigating the incident. 

A federal Civil Rights investigation has also been launched. 

A peaceful rally will take place in Duluth Friday night at 5 p.m. in support of the #Justice4Jamar campaign. 

A candlelight vigil and march will be held in Minneapolis at 4:30 Friday night outside of the Minneapolis 4th precinct headquarters.  

Protesters are calling for release of any video police have showing the shooting. 

Authorities say there is video from several sources, however none have captured the entire incident.  

Police say no video will be released while the investigation is ongoing. 

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