(MINNEAPOLIS) — Following calls for justice and transparency by protesters, two Minneapolis Police Department officers who were involved in the fatal shooting of 24-year-old Jamar Clark were identified by authorities Wednesday.
Officers Mike Ringgenberg and Dustin Schwarze, both seven-year police veterans who’ve served on the city’s police force for 13 months, were the two officers who got into an altercation with Clark this past Sunday, Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) told ABC News in a statement Wednesday. Clark was shot in the head by one of the officers and later died from the gunshot wound Monday evening, according to the BCA, which has been conducting an investigation at the request of the police department.
Both are on paid administrative leave, according to the BCA.
The BCA did not identify which officer shot Clark during the altercation, but did note that the incident happened after Ringgenberg and Schwarze were called to the scene of an assault when Clark disrupted paramedics’ “ability to aid an assault victim.”
Police initially said Clark was not handcuffed when he was shot, but several witnesses have disputed the police’s account of what happened.
Witness Nekelia Sharp told ABC affiliate KSTP-TV in Minneapolis that Clark “didn’t resist” and “did not fight back.”
“There was no struggle and he was in handcuffs when he [police] shot that young man,” she said, adding that after police shot Clark, they took him out of handcuffs and, as KSTP put it, “shoved” witnesses back into their apartments.
“We were literally forced back into our apartment units so we would not be able to talk about the incident that happened,” she said. “It’s not fair.”
Another witness, Joseph Gipson, told KSTP that police “killed him [Clark] with his hands behind his back.”
Authorities said at a news conference on Tuesday that handcuffs were at the scene and that they are trying to determine whether Clark was restrained.
“We’re still examining whether or not they were on Mr. Clark or whether or not they were just [fallen] at the scene,” state BCA superintendent Drew Evans said at the news conference on Tuesday.
The shooting has sparked protests, including one Monday night in which 200 to 300 people with signs like “Handcuffs, Don’t shoot” and “Justice 4 Jamar” shut down I-94, a major highway in Minneapolis, Minnesota State Patrol Lt. Tiffani Schweigart said at a news conference on Tuesday.
Protesters have also set up tents around the 4th Precinct station near where the shooting occurred and said they won’t leave until authorities release any video they have of the incident along with the identities of the officers involved.
Authorities have said the officers involved weren’t wearing body cameras and that there was no police dashcam video of the shooting.
The BCA requested that any member of the public who witnessed or captured video of the shooting contact the agency at (651) 793-7000.
Meanwhile, the FBI has agreed to conduct a civil rights investigation into the shooting.
Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
Recent posts in National News