When you’re the victim of a shooting you expect the police to help you, not threaten you. But that’s what Wesley Martin says happened to him after a group of white supremacists opened fire on him and four other Black Lives Matter protesters near the Minneapolis 4th police precinct station on November 23.
Martin and several other victims of the white supremacists shooting talked to the press on Tuesday.
In a letter to the Hennepin County Attorney, Martin says he has been in fear for his life after being shot and says “I have been threatened by police officers, I have been followed by off duty officers, and other whites, in a very threatening manner.”
Martin says that he fears police may be complicit in the shooting or may be “working to cover it up,” since they failed to identify threats the supremacists had made in social media. Since the shooting suspects were arrested Martin says investigators have not contacted him to see a lineup and possibly identify them. He also says witnesses tried to show police which cars may have been involved in the shooting, “but rather than going after the suspects the police pepper sprayed in the area of the witness and victims.”
“Go To A Homeless Shelter And Hide”
When Martin contacted a county-appointed victims advocate about the threats from police and other whites, Martin says he was told to “go to a homeless shelter and hide.”
“We did receive a letter from the supervisor of the advocates,” Jermaine Alexander told The UpTake. Alexander is assisting three of the shooting victims including Martin. “She told us that she would investigate, but the problem is the people who advocate are scared to make reports to the Minneapolis police department and they only want to make their statements to the federal officers, because as you hear them say they fear their life at the hands of police officers in Minnesota. And they do have statements to make to the federal police officers or the FBI.”
The 18 day occupation and protest around the 4th precinct station was in response to police fatally shooting an unarmed Jamar Clark in the back of his head. Clark’s cousin Cameron Clark was protesting the night the white supremacists opened fired and was wounded. He says an emergency room doctor shook his hand and told him he was lucky. What police called a non-life threatening bullet wound had missed his artery by a half inch. He too fears the police. “Every time I come out the house everyday I’m not scared of a brother taking my life. I’ve scared of the police harassing me and taking my life because they done told me they know who I am.”
Another shooting victim, Teven King, says he has also received death threats since the shooting. “I just don’t feel safe walking the streets.” He lifted his shirt to show cameras what police called a “non life-threatening” wound looks like. “It split my intestine in half. They had to go in and stop internal bleeding. The bullet is still lodged in my pelvis and if I make any false moves with this bullet in me, I will die.”
“Nobody should go through what we go through today,” said King. “Nobody.”
Note: An earlier version of this story erroneously indicated Jermaine Alexander is attorney for the shooting victims. He is an advocate.