Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman announced Wednesday morning he will not bring charges against the Minneapolis police officers who shot and killed Jamar Clark.
Freeman said he was releasing all of the documents and unedited videos in the case. He stepped through them before announcing his decision to not file charges.
Freeman said the biggest question in the investigation was whether Clark was handcuffed when a police officer shot him. Freeman said there was conflicting testimony from witnesses about that, but DNA and other lab tests showed the handcuffs were not on Clark when he was shot.
Statements from the police officers said Clark was attempting to grab an officers gun and they feared for their lives when they decided to shoot Clark. According to statements from the officers Clark said “I’m ready to die” just before they shot him.
The bar is high for charging a police officer according to Freeman. During a phone news conference with reporters (see video at bottom) Freeman said that lowering that bar is something that should be discussed, but he thought it would be more effective to focus on training police better on how to deescalate situations so they don’t end in a shooting. He said activists should focus their pressure on the police chief and the city council to make those training changes.
Live video and live blog
Video at top: Freeman’s full news conference on the Jamar Clark case
Video below: News conference to react to Freeman’s announcement:
Freeman holds phone call news conference with reporters: