ACLU, NAACP sue for Jamar Clark videos

The shooting of Jamar Clark sparked weeks of protests in Minneapolis.

Story highlights

  • Jamar Clark was shot by Minneapolis police in November
  • Authorities say there are several videos, but none capture the shooting incident from beginning to end
  • The state's department of public safety is investigating

(CNN)The American Civil Liberties Union of Minnesota and the NAACP chapter in Minneapolis are suing the state's Department of Public Safety in hopes of getting videos that show the fatal police shooting of Jamar Clark.

Minneapolis police officers shot and killed the 24-year-old Clark on November 15. Several witnesses say Clark was restrained when a bullet struck him in the head. Police and attorneys dispute those claims.
Parts of the incident were recorded on several cameras, but no video shows the entire incident, Drew Evans, superintendent of the Minnesota Department of Public Safety's Bureau of Criminal Apprehension,said in late November. None of the videos will be released until the bureau's investigation is over, he said at the time.
    "The police have tremendous authority, including the ability to use reasonable force. It's entirely consistent with our democratic values for the public to demand government accountability and transparency when police use force, especially if it results in a life being taken," ACLU Minnesota Executive Director Charles Samuelson said.
    A spokesman for the Minnesota Department of Public Safety said the agency would release videos when the case is closed.
    "The Department of Public Safety Bureau of Criminal Apprehension remains fully committed to a fair, impartial and thorough investigation into the incident that led to the death of Jamar Clark," Bruce Gordon said. "Releasing any evidence, including video, prior to the completed investigation and prosecutorial review is detrimental to the case."
    The shooting of the unarmed Clark prompted weeks of protests outside the police precinct. In other protests, demonstrators stopped traffic on an interstate and disrupted travelers trying to get into the airport. Clark was African-American; the officers are white.
    Authorities have said Clark was interfering with a woman's medical care when officers Mike Ringgenberg and Dustin Schwarze tried to arrest him. A lawyer said Clark had control of an officer's gun. However, a witness told CNN he thought Clark was in handcuffs.
    Jamar Clark's family is not associated with the lawsuit, the NAACP said.
    The lawsuit was filed in state court. The U.S. Justice Department is also investigating the incident.