Dayton sees video of Jamar Clark incident, calls it inconclusive


Gov. Mark Dayton said Monday he's watched a short video clip of the Jamar Clark shooting incident in Minneapolis and said it doesn't conclusively show what happened.

The Minneapolis chapter of the NAACP immediately criticized Dayton's comments, saying it reinforces the need for all the video to be released to the public.

Clark, who was unarmed, was fatally shot by Minneapolis police officers on Nov. 15 after police say he struggled with them. His death sparked several days of protests by activists who claim Clark was handcuffed at the time he was shot.

Police deny that was the case, and they maintain Clark was going after one of the officer's guns. The protesters are demanding the release of all video footage which could shed light on the incident.

In that vein, the governor said he asked state investigators to let him see this video clip, which was recorded by a camera on an ambulance that had responded to the scene, according to MPR News.

At a news conference Monday, Dayton described what he saw on the footage, which was less than a minute long.

In it, Clark and one of the officers "encounter each other," then disappear from view, Dayton said, according to the Star Tribune, continuing: "It doesn’t show anything that would be any confirmation of one point of view or another.”

Dayton said he watched the tape on Friday before he met with members of Clark's family, and told them the same.

He said he has not seen any other video footage, the Star Tribune reports.

NAACP responds

The NAACP said in its statement that members of the public should be able to see the video for themselves and draw their own conclusions, "rather than relying upon the perspective of one government official who is not a trained expert in this field."

The organization went on to say that Dayton's comments weaken the potential for "a fair, transparent and balanced investigation."

"The Governor's statement also disturbingly calls into question the veracity of statements from witnesses who have already cooperated with state and federal authorities in presenting their versions of what happened, and may deter other witnesses from coming forward out of fear of not having their stories be believed."

Investigators have said none of the video footage they have seen shows the entire incident, and have also said they won't release any of the video until their probe is complete because they don't want to taint the investigation, according to MPR News.

Also Monday, the Minnesota chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union called on the Minneapolis Police Department to exercise "more restraint" in their dealings with protesters outside the Fourth Precinct.

The group sent a letter to Minneapolis Police Chief Janeé Harteau saying the police use of pepper spray, marking rounds and rubber bullets during some protests has been inconsistent and arbitrary, and has made the situation more chaotic than necessary.

Clark's funeral is scheduled for Wednesday, and Dayton said he's not sure yet whether he will attend, the Star Tribune reports.

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