BCA finishes Jamar Clark investigation: What that means for charges, release of video

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The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension is done with its investigation into the fatal shooting of Jamar Clark, and a decision on charges could come in the next couple months.

In an email news release Wednesday, the Department of Public Safety said the BCA has turned its findings over to the Hennepin County Attorney's Office for review.

Here's the full text of the news release:

The Hennepin County Attorney's Office then issued a statement, saying "although it's difficult to predict" how long a review of the case will take, County Attorney Mike Freeman said he'd like to have a decision by the end of March on whether charges will be brought.

The office got the BCA's case file Tuesday afternoon. Prosecutors will review the file "for completeness," and the statement says additional investigation might be necessary.

Here's the statement in full:

Clark was shot in the head by Minneapolis Police on Nov. 15, 2015, and died the next day. His death prompted #Justice4Jamar demonstrations at the Fourth Precinct police station in north Minneapolis, as well as protests and marches downtown, as well as at Mall of America and the airport.

Does this mean video of the shooting will be released?

Officials have said there is video from the night of the shooting, but maintained it won’t be released until the investigation is over because it could contaminate witness accounts of the incident.

The BCA finishing its investigation doesn't mean the footage will be released yet.

A spokesperson with the Department of Public Safety, Jill Oliveira, told BringMeTheNews in an email the case "remains open" during this review process.

"The BCA will follow the law and release the videos and all other public data once the case is closed as we would in any other investigation," the spokesperson wrote.

Gov. Mark Dayton has said he saw the video, but called it inconclusive.

Officers involved returned to work


Police spokesperson Scott Seroka told BringMeTheNews the two officers identified as being involved in the shooting – Mark Ringgenberg and Dustin Schwarze – returned to work on Jan. 6, and are currently assigned to the Special Operations and Intelligence Division.

The Minneapolis Police Department issued a short statement Wednesday, saying in part it "continues to respect the independent nature of this investigation.”

Groups sue to force release of video

Activists have called for the release of video of the shooting, among other things, which they say will clear up debate over whether Clark was restrained when he was shot in the head – witnesses say he was handcuffed, but police have disputed that claim.

On Tuesday, ACLU Minnesota and the NAACP's Minneapolis chapter filed a lawsuit against the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension and Department of Public Safety to force the release of the footage.

The Minneapolis Police Department requested the BCA investigate the incident as an independent organization. The investigation is still considered open during the review process, the BCA's news release says.

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