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Jamar Clark died from gunshot wound to head, BCA says he was unarmed


Jamar ONeal Clark, who died following a scuffle with police in north Minneapolis, was killed by a gunshot wound to the head.

The Hennepin County Medical Examiner has confirmed the fatal wound inflicted on the 24-year-old, who died from his injuries on Monday evening after being shot by a police officer on Plymouth Ave. N Sunday.

Clark's death has been ruled a homicide by the examiner, which is defined medically as one person causing the death of another, irrespective of intent.

Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges made a request for the federal government to launch a civil rights probe into the shooting, and federal officials said Tuesday they have agreed to conduct that investigation.

Police say Clark interfered with paramedics trying to help a victim he is suspected of assaulting on Sunday, and in the ensuing struggle was shot by an officer. His death sparked major protests outside the Fourth Precinct police station and on Interstate 94 by Black Lives Matter activists who claim he was handcuffed and unarmed.

In a press conference Tuesday, the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension confirmed that Clark was unarmed at the time and said handcuffs were recovered from the scene, but it is investigating whether they were on Clark's body at the time of the shooting.

U.S. Attorney Andrew Luger, along with the head of the Minneapolis FBI office and an assistant attorney general for civil rights, issued a statement Tuesday saying all three offices will play a role in the investigation.

“This federal investigation will be conducted by the FBI and will be concurrent to the state’s investigation. The United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Minnesota and prosecutors with the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division will independently review all evidence to determine if Mr. Clark’s death involved any prosecutable violations of federal criminal civil rights statutes."

The statement also asks witnesses who believe they have information about the shooting to come forward. The officials also "urge calm throughout our community" while the investigation takes place.

The Guardian reports the number of civilians killed by police in the United States in 2015 has now passed the 1,000 mark, of which 883 were shot, 47 Tasered, 33 hit by a police vehicle and 36 died in custody.

Camera footage doesn't show shooting 'in its entirety'

Despite a petition being launched calling on police to release whatever camera footage it has of the incident, the BCA said it won't be doing that just yet in case it prejudices the ongoing investigation.

Crucially, none of the video footage that the authorities have collected captures the shooting "in its entirety," the BCA says.

This is despite it having obtained footage from several sources, including from the ambulance rig on the scene, a nearby police camera, public housing cameras and cellphone footage from witnesses.

There is no police dash cam or body cam footage available, though.

Protesters from organizations including Black Lives Matter say they'll remain at the Fourth Precinct until video and the names of the officers are released.

The BCA says the names of the officers involved, both of whom are on standard administrative leave, will be released once the interviews have finished.

In a statement on Facebook, Mayor Hodges addressed several requests made of her since the shooting, re-iterating she cannot personally release video footage as it's in the hands of investigators.

She added: "I have also been asked to fire officers involved. However, to do so is a violation their collective-bargaining agreement and their right to due process under the law.

"Finally, I have been asked to require that Minneapolis police officers live in Minneapolis, and that we institute a civilian-review authority with disciplinary powers. Regardless of the merits of those requests, they are barred by state law."

TV reporter among protest arrests

Among the 42 people arrested during the I-94 protest on Monday night was FOX 9 journalist Jack Highberger, who according to the Star Tribune was cited for unlawful assembly.

Also arrested were a handful or protesters who were also arrested during the Black Lives Matter demonstration at the Mall of America last December.

Highberger posted a video of himself being arrested to Facebook, commenting: "Like all the other journalists on the side of I-94 Monday night, I was there for one reason. To do my job. I have no intention of stopping."

According to MediaLite, the arresting officer from the Minnesota State Patrol said: "I told you to leave, man," adding, "You weren't supposed to be here, I told you many times to get out of here."

But Highberger got zero sympathy from a former commander of the Fourth Precinct, who made this comment on Facebook:

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