Three in Custody After Shooting at Protesters in Minneapolis
Police take 3 people into custody for shooting at Black Lives Matter protesters, leaving 5 injured.
A protest in Minneapolis, part of the Black Lives Matter movement, which arose in response to a number of police killings of unarmed blacks in Ferguson, Missouri, New York and Baltimore, was disrupted earlier on Monday when a group of people opened fired at the protesters. Five protesters were injured.
Police have taken three white men into custody as part of the investigation.
The attack on the protesters happened near a police precinct where dozens of protesters have been camping out since the fatal shooting of Jamar Clark on November 15. None of the protesters suffered life-threatening injuries.
According to the police, Clark was shot after he struggled with police officers. But some people who said they saw the shooting said the 24-year-old was handcuffed.
Authorities investigating the attack on the protesters arrested a 23-year-old white man and a 32-year-old Hispanic man, who was later released. Two more men – both white, ages 26 and 21 – turned themselves in Tuesday afternoon.
Protesters said that before the shooting, they noticed three men and a woman who seemed out of place and were asked to leave. Moments later, shots rang out about a block away.
Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman said it will be up to a grand jury to decide whether to bring charges against police officers in Clark’s death.
I really did think it was like firecrackers or something initially because it was so loud and there was like this acrid smell. I thought, surely, they are not shooting at us.Jie Wronski-Riley, Protester
Fourteen people whom protesters believed to be white supremacists were kicked out of the area one night, said Mica Grimm, an organizer of Black Lives Matter Minneapolis. She said they came in with their faces covered and filmed the crowd but would not talk to people. Some made racist comments.
We ain’t scared. We can’t back down. We ain’t turning around, but we’re here fighting for justice.Nekima Levy-Pounds, President of the Minneapolis chapter of the NAACP civil rights group
Grimm said protesters had been threatened by one group online and had been working with hackers to figure out the group’s plans. Concerns were raised with the police, but protesters felt the threats were not being taken seriously.
One man was shot in the back of the leg and was crawling in the street, Wronski-Riley said. Another, who had been shot in the arm, was yelling that his limb was numb and he needed help.
Some protesters criticized the police response time and said officers arrived in full riot gear. Officers aggressively pushed back the crowd, Wronski-Riley said, at one point using a chemical irritant to keep people back. Police did not answer questions about their response to the shootings or about their response to prior reports of suspicious behaviour.
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