Community members continue to seek justice for Jamar Clark a year after he was killed by Minneapolis police.
Tuesday marks the one-year anniversary of Clark's death, and the Twin Cities Coalition for Justice 4 Jamar is hosting several events this week to honor and remember him and others who have been killed by police.
There will be a vigil Tuesday at 5 p.m. at the site on Plymouth Avenue in north Minneapolis where Clark was killed following a struggle with police, a Facebook event says. More than 100 people have responded to the Facebook event saying they were attending, with more than 300 say they are interested in going.
Community demands justice
Local, state and federal officials have all determined that the two officers involved in Clark's death – Mark Ringgenberg and Dustin Schwarze – will not be charged with a crime or disciplined, which has many in the community still seeking justice.
"There can never be justice for Jamar, but maybe we can win justice through Jamar," James Clark said of his son, according to the Facebook events.
Dozens of activists gathered Sunday to remember him and other black men killed in officer-involved shootings as part of the coalition's week of events to honor 24-year-old Clark, KARE 11 says. They marched from North Minneapolis to the Minneapolis Police Department's Fourth Precinct (that's where protesters gathered for 18 days following Clark's death), then marched down Plymouth Avenue to the spot Clark was killed.
During the event, community members continued their call for police to be prosecuted for crimes against communities of color, and also demanded prosecutors end the use of grand juries, KSTP reports. (Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman said earlier this year he would no longer use grand juries to consider charges in fatal officer-involved shootings, but that's not the case in every county).
“The appetite for systemic change has never been higher, and Jamar’s death was really a pivot point locally, and it set the stage for abandoning grand juries in Hennepin County,” Anthony Newby, executive director of the nonprofit Neighborhoods Organizing for Change, told the Star Tribune. "That seemed like a pipe dream before Jamar Clark’s death."
Twin Cities Coalition for Justice 4 Jamar is also hosting a rally at the Hennepin County Government Center Friday afternoon, where families of other victims who have been killed by police will be in attendance, the Facebook event shows.
And on Saturday a community day is planned, where people will gather for community building, art, education, food and fun "to sustain us and our families for the long walk in front of us as we continue the work for justice for Jamar, and for all of us," the event page says.
According to the Washington Post, 832 people nationally have been killed by police this year, including 13 in Minnesota. In 2015, 991 people were killed by officers across the country.