By Harry Colbert, Jr., Managing Editor
Today would have been Jamar Clark’s 26th birthday.
This is the second birthday missed by Clark, who was killed Nov. 15, 2015, by Minneapolis Police Officers Mark Ringgenberg and Dustin Schwarze. Unarmed, Clark’s killing sparked 18 consecutive days of protest outside of the Minneapolis Police Department 4th Precinct headquarters, which is just a block away from where Clark was killed. Despite eye witness testimony from multiple people stating Clark never resisted the officers and never reached for the officer’s gun, which police claim, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman declined to bring charges against the officers involved, sparking another wave of protests.
To commemorate Clark’s birthday a rally is being held this evening at 8 p.m. outside of the 4th Precinct headquarters, 1925 Plymouth Ave. N. The rally is hosted by the Twin Cities Coalition for Justice 4 Jamar.
Just last week white supremacist Lance “Anthony” Scarsella was sentenced to 15 years for shooting five protesters during the 4th Precinct occupation.
Since Clark’s homicide, the Twin Cities has had several other officer involved shootings, most notably the July 6 killing of Philando Castile by St. Anthony Police Officer Jeronimo Yanez. Yanez is awaiting trial on manslaughter in that shooting.
This past weekend a Dallas suburb police officer shot and killed 15-year-old honor roll student Jordan Edwards – a passenger in a car that was driving away from officers when he was killed. The officer in that shooting, Roy Oliver, has been fired, but as of yet, not been charged. Just yesterday former South Carolina police officer Michael Slager pleaded guilty in federal court to gunning down Walter Scott, a shooting that was captured on video. Slager faces life in prison for the killing.
Also, yesterday it was announced that the Department of Justice under Attorney General Jeff Sessions would not seek charges against the officer who killed Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, La. Sterling’s death – just a day before Castile’s – was also captured on video.