Forty-two people were arrested Monday night after hundreds of protesters blocked traffic on Interstate 94 near downtown Minneapolis for more than two hours.
They were protesting the shooting of 24-year-old Jamar Clark by Minneapolis police early Sunday morning.
Clark, who witnesses say was shot in the head, died Monday evening after being taken off life support, according to media reports and Black Lives Matter Minneapolis.
Among those arrested Monday night were 34 adults and eight juveniles, the Minnesota State Patrol said in an email news release Tuesday. They face charges of unlawful assembly and pedestrian on the freeway – both misdemeanors.
Nekima Levy-Pounds – the president of the Minneapolis chapter of the NAACP – and at least two journalists were among those arrested Monday night. FOX 9 reporter Jack Highberger wrote on his Facebook page he was taken into custody and charged with a crime, and the volunteer-run media organization Unicorn Riot
" target="_blank">tweeted one of its journalists was arrested while filming the protest.
They were all taken to Hennepin County Jail or the juvenile detention center for booking, and all have since been released, Black Lives Matter wrote on its Facebook page Tuesday morning.
The organization said it will continue to occupy the Fourth Precinct, where protesters have been camped out since Sunday, until video from the shooting is released.
What led to the I-94 march
A large crowd of demonstrators gathered Monday evening outside the Minneapolis Police Department’s Fourth Precinct to continue protesting Sunday's shooting.
They marched through North Minneapolis and when they reached I-94, went onto the highway and stood in the way of motorists. Traffic was backed up for miles in the westbound lanes.
At 8 p.m., the State Patrol warned protesters to disperse or they would face arrest. Many people left the scene, but a few dozen remained, standing with their arms linked together, refusing to leave and continuing to block traffic.
Numerous cars were damaged in the protest and at least one state trooper was punched by a protester, who fled the scene, KARE 11 reports.
Twenty-four agencies from four counties assisted the state patrol with the protest, the state patrol said.
Gov. Dayton comments on protest
At a news conference Tuesday, Gov. Mark Dayton addressed the protest, saying he was "very uncomfortable" activists closed I-94, noting it was unsafe, the Star Tribune reports.
Dayton also commended state and local officials who gave ample warning to protesters before they were arrested, The Associated Press notes.
He added that his commissioners and staff have been monitoring the unrest within the community closely, and he supports Mayor Betsy Hodges' request for a federal investigation into the shooting, the Star Tribune says.
Hodges requests federal investigation
The protests continued after Mayor Betsy Hodges asked the federal government to conduct a civil rights investigation into the shooting – one of the demands made by Black Lives Matter.
At a Monday afternoon news conference,
" target="_blank">Hodges said she sent a request to the U.S. Department of Justice's Civil Rights Division and to the U.S. Attorney for Minnesota, Andrew Luger.
Their investigation would take place in addition to the one already being conducted by the state's Bureau of Criminal Apprehension.
The investigations come after disputes over what happened in the lead-up to the shooting: Witnesses and activists say Clark, a black man, was handcuffed and unarmed at the time he was shot. Police have said preliminary findings show he was not in handcuffs.
Police were responding to a suspected assault at the time, and say Clark was interfering while paramedics were trying to aid the victim. When police arrived, a struggle ensued and at some point Clark was shot, authorities say.
Activists who have been protesting Clark's shooting had called on Hodges to ask for the federal investigation. They also want the release of video they believe might show the incident, and want police to reveal the names of the officers involved in the shooting, Black Lives Matter says.
Police Chief Janee Harteau said at the news conference any video of the incident – from nearby surveillance cameras or dashcams inside squad cars or ambulances – is part of the investigation and will not be released at this time. Harteau said the officers involved were not wearing body cameras.
The two officers are on paid leave, which is standard procedure. Their names will be released after they meet with BCA investigators, Harteau said.