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Minneapolis City Council and Mayor's responses to #JamarClark

Online public statements and media comments from, and actions by, Minneapolis City leaders regarding the November 15 shooting of Jamar Clark and the protest actions following. If you're aware of any new statements or actions, please let me know on Twitter (@webster) or via email (tony@tonywebster.com).

I stopped updating this shortly after the November 18 raid, but I am still capturing and archiving to create a more meaningful timeline down the road.


Ward 1 – City Council Member Kevin Reich

No public statements.


Ward 2 – City Council Member Cam Gordon

  • "I am proud of the peaceful protesters tonight. You help make us all better" link

  • Council Member Gordon and Council Member Bender were at the Fourth Precinct visiting with demonstrators link

  • Monday, November 16, 2015 at 21:48 CST — "Free speech + a free press lead to a just democracy. You who protest and speak up are heros of both. Thx #Justice4Jamar #BlackLivesMatter" link

  • Monday, November 16, 2015 at 14:11 CST — "I am deeply concerned and saddened by the police shooting that occurred in Minneapolis this weekend. This is exactly the kind of incident that I, my colleagues on the Council, the Mayor and the community at large work to prevent and avoid. It is tragic. The fact that it happened represents a failure on all our parts. In the weeks ahead I will do whatever I can to ensure that justice prevails, that an open and transparent process is followed, that everyone has access to accurate information and that we learn from this to prevent similar tragedies from occurring in our city in the future. I commend the community, the Mayor and the Police Chief for mobilizing and responding to this terrible occurrence quickly. Moving forward, as a city government, we need to respond and lead in a thoughtful but decisive way that will earn the confidence of the family, community and all residents of Minneapolis. Let us not make the mistakes we have seen occur in other cities. I call on the Governor, the State Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, the Police Chief and the Mayor to turn to the U.S. Department of Justice for guidance and oversight of this investigation. I encourage all parties with information to come forward and share that information, including video or photographic documentation, with the authorities and with the family and the public. That includes the City and the BCA – public authorities need to share the information we have as well. I also encourage our local news media to engage and work professionally and impartially to help us all as a community understand the facts, as well as the perspectives and personal accounts of those involved. The suffering, pain and hurt this is causing to the family, neighbors, witnesses, community and all those involved should not be neglected or forgotten. To heal, help will be needed, today and for a long time to come. I will always keep in mind that this incident is connected to deeper, long term, structural problems in our society, and I encourage others to do the same. Violence, particularly gun violence, is a deep-rooted and persistent problem in our city and in our country. Police violence is also a national problem, and a problem right here in Minneapolis. Here, and throughout the United States, there is an undeniable racial component to the problem of police violence, rooted in white supremacy and institutional racism. This racial inequity goes beyond police culture and practices, pervading our economic, educational and criminal justice systems. We need reforms and we have needed them for a long time. I know that some steps have been taken and are being taken and that the city is poised to address some of the issues in the weeks and months ahead. Diversifying our police force, implementing use of police body cameras – with a strong policy to back them up, better training and better civilian police oversight are only a few of the things we need to work on. We need to do more and we need to take action quickly. I hope that in the future, this terrible tragedy will be viewed as a moment that Minneapolis clearly, and more decisively than ever before, rejected the path of violence and racism to show ourselves, and our nation, that there is a better path based on justice and nonviolence." link

  • Sunday, November 15, 2015 at 11:46 CST — "I am concerned and following this as closely as I can. Please keep me informed." link


Ward 3 – City Council Member Jacob Frey

  • Tuesday, November 17, 2015 at 19:12 CST – "The shooting on Saturday night is tragic, heartbreaking, and a clear reflection of greater systemic problems we are facing in society. I’m thinking of Jamar Clark’s family and loved ones through this agonizing time. I can’t imagine the pain they are going through. Everyone involved including Jamar, the officers, and the community at large, deserves a fair, impartial investigation. In this vein, I am fully supportive of the request for a Federal Department of Justice (“DOJ”) investigation running parallel to that being conducted by the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (“BCA”). People should know that while the BCA investigation will take several months, the DOJ Investigation will likely take longer. I wish we had more clear answers now. These are horrible results for everyone. From the police officers, to Jamar, to the victim of domestic violence, we ALL lose. May this tragedy be an opportunity to work together, as we clearly have much to do." link

  • Monday, November 16, 2015 at 17:41 CST — "I believe the route is a request for a parallel investigation conducted by the feds, which I support. I also agree with CM Gordon's sentiment - clearly a lot of suffering, pain, and hurt caused." link

  • Was present at City's second press conference


Ward 4 – City Council President Barb Johnson

  • No public statements

  • Tuesday, November 17, 2015 at 08:08 CST — Star Tribune: Council President Barbara Johnson said that she’s following the situation closely and that she believes officials are following the proper process for investigating the shooting. But she said she’s concerned about the ongoing demonstration’s impact on many of her north Minneapolis constituents, especially those who may be blocked from getting to precinct headquarters for police reports or other services. Johnson pointed to an e-mail she’d received from one resident, who “put on record that there are a lot of people sitting in their homes, not wanting to contribute to the chaos, that are respectful of the work the police do in Minneapolis and know they have a tough job.” link

  • Was present at both City press conferences


Ward 5 – City Council Member Blong Yang

  • Tuesday, November 17, 2015 at 15:40 CST – "I am deeply saddened by the shooting of Jamar Clark this weekend. I pray for his family and loved ones as they go through this agonizing time. Jamar’s life matters and the shooting deserves as critical and fair an investigation as possible. I also pray for the officers involved and their families too. There is an ongoing Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) investigation. Anyone who was a witness to the shooting should contact the BCA at 651-793-7000. This investigation will be instrumental in making sure that justice is served. There have been demands made to immediately release video of the shooting and for the name of the officer(s) to be released. Any videos that have been taken as evidence are possessed by the BCA. The decision to release the video will be made by state authorities. The MPD does not have the videos, does not control the chain of custody on the videos, and cannot compel the release of the videos. I cannot pass judgment until the full investigation has been completed. The use of force by the government is something that should always be critically analyzed and because of that, I support not only the criminal investigation by the BCA but also the Federal Civil Rights investigation. I do want to take a little time to talk about how this process is going to move forward to help the community understand the context and the expectations of the investigations. The BCA investigation will be a criminal investigation that will consider if any number of charges could be filed against the officers in the shooting of Jamar. The outcome of the BCA investigation could be everything from not charging the officer(s) because there is insufficient evidence, to charging the officer(s) for a crime if the facts bear that out. The Federal investigation will be an investigation by the Department of Justice’s Office of Civil Rights to see if Jamar’s civil rights were violated during the shooting incident. This would have to be an active attempt to deny Jamar of his civil rights and/or right to due process, not simply negligence or mistakes on the part of the officer(s). This is a very high standard. The BCA investigation will take several months to complete. The Federal investigation could take much longer. This process isn’t designed to give people closure quickly, though I wish it could, but it is designed to seek justice deliberately and fairly. Finally, I pray for your patience and understanding in this matter. Justice will take time." link

  • Tuesday, November 17, 2015 at 08:08 CST – Star Tribune: "Council Member Blong Yang, who represents part of the North Side and oversees the council’s Public Safety Committee, said he supports a federal investigation. He said the pace of the process so far is in line with those of other officer-involved incidents. “In my view, you have to trust our process,” Yang said." link

  • Was present at both City press conferences

  • Was present at listening session


Ward 6 – City Council Member Abdi Warsame

No public statements.


Ward 7 – City Council Member Lisa Goodman

  • Tuesday, November 17, 2015 at 19:05 CST — Sharing Mayor Hodges’ update, Goodman said: “A very thorough update from our Mayor, thank you for putting as much information as we have and can out there.” link

Ward 8 – City Council Vice President Elizabeth Glidden

  • Tuesday, November 17, 2015 at 23:05 CST — "Just this evening, we have learned that the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division and U.S. Attorney Andrew Luger’s Office have formally agreed to a criminal civil rights investigation into the officer-involved shooting of Jamar Clark on Sunday morning. This federal investigation will be conducted by the FBI and will be concurrent to the state’s investigation through the BCA. I have strongly supported the request from Mayor Hodges and Congressman Ellison to the Department of Justice to launch an independent federal investigation in addition to the investigation by the BCA. As responsible investigating agencies, the DOJ and Minnesota BCA now control the evidence (including video) and when that evidence can be made public. I hope that as soon as information can be made public, without compromising this critical investigation, it is released. I know that some from BLM are calling for policy changes for our police department as well - residency requirements for police officers and an independent civilian overview agency with investigative powers (subpoena power). Both of these issues are controlled by state law (not city law). Along with Cam Gordon, I was part of a work group in 2006 that recommended subpoena power for civilian review authority - the state legislature did not, however, approve this authority. We need to continue pressing for policy and operational reforms many of which are already in the works - including body cameras, early warning systems, hiring reforms, training on implicit bias and racial reconciliation, and many more efforts. I give my condolences and prayers to the family and friends of Jamar Clark and to so many from our broader community who mourn him. Jamar was 24 years old. He had life and opportunity before him. He was a son, a nephew, a cousin, a friend. My prayers also with those who are expressing their pain, anger, and despair through protest. Expression through protest is one of the most fundamental ways to demand change and the world is hearing you. I understand that some from Black Lives Matter are receiving messages of hate and racist threats; I hope these messages of hate are countered by many more of positivity and understanding. In my prayers as well are our Minneapolis Police Officers, their families and loved ones. We expect so much of you, every day. This evening on my way home Rico Morales, who volunteers at a South Minneapolis coffee shop and also reports for KFAI, was generous to give me his time. We talked about community anger and angst, and the trauma that Jamar’s death has triggered for people of color. We talked about the importance of reaching out to one another. For now, we will continue to provide updates on the investigatory process of the DOJ and State BCA. Thank you to all who have contacted me, and for your demands for justice, transparency and accountability." link

Ward 9 – City Council Member Alondra Cano

  • "Many of you asked me to come and support the community at tonight's ‪#‎4thPrecinctShutDown‬. After the public hearing on the City's budget and tucking my boys in their beds, I was able to join the demonstration. I saw many familiar things - volunteers putting more wood in the fire to keep people warm, tea and donut donations, a mini tent-city like the one we had during the Save the General College protests, music, dancing, singing, and lots and lots of well-intentioned and caring people who have very legitimate questions about what's happening in our society. After personally witnessing the interactions between the community and the MPD officers, it was clear to me that our officers needed to stop spraying mace onto the public. I've made this formal request to the Chief of Police and her leadership staff. I await a direct response to this request. I've also made other requests and suggestions which I believe will help, long-term, to build better community-police relations and hope they get considered by MPD. Thank you Bill, Marjaan, Peter, Zoe, and the many others who reached out to me personally to invite me to come out tonight. For now, you can look for updates and my response to the ‪#‎JusticeForJamar‬ demonstrations on Twitter, where the #4thPrecinctShutDown was trending at #4 for the evening. You can Tweet at me @People4Alondra. Mañana quizas será otro dia, pero de seguro la misma lucha. Seguimos adelante." link

  • Tuesday, November 17, 2015 at 13:22 CST — "I am aware of the officer-involved shooting that took place in North Minneapolis this Sunday. I know that the death of 24-year-old Jamar Clark weighs heavy on many hearts and I support the community who has taken to the streets to demand clarity and justice. Mayor Betsy Hodges has responded to this series of events by requesting the help of the U.S. Department of Justice to ensure a thorough and transparent investigation is completed. Please read her comments below, which I also support. At this moment the video tapes of this incident are no longer in MPD's purview and they have been handed over to the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) and may be turned over to the federal investigators once they respond to our Mayor's request. In the meantime, the two officers involved have been placed on paid administrative leave. I wish I could write more, but my heart is also heavy with this set of circumstances and all I can think about is Jamar's family and friends - they are in my thoughts daily." link

  • Tuesday, November 17, 2015 at 10:13 CST — "I support the Department of Justice to investigate what happened to Jamar Clark. I offer condolences to his family." link

  • Tuesday, November 17, 2015 at 10:10 CST – "The City has asked for the Department of Justice to help with the investigation of this shooting, I agree that it makes sense to utilize all resources available to learn what happened to Jamar Clark. I offer my condolences to his friends and family." link


Ward 10 – City Council Member Lisa Bender

  • "I am home from the 4th precinct. Peace and support to all who are still out in the cold. To help, please stop by the precinct to stand as a witness and supporter. If you can bring food, hats, mittens, blankets and rain gear I know those have been appreciated. Thank you to the community members, many of my colleagues and council staff, Rep Ray Dehn, the faith community, the neighbors and so many who stood with the community today in support. I am so frustrated by many things that happened today. I think the videos and photos speak more than what I can say right now. This is not the city I want to live in. These are choices and we need the MPD to start making better choices. I saw moments of very good progress and officers de-escalating and remaining calm then steps backwards. I am thankful that no one that I know of was seriously hurt though many people were suffering from mace and from being hit by rubber bullets. Today was unacceptable. Tomorrow must be better." link

  • Wednesday, November 18, 2015 at 15:07 CST — "Here at the #4thprecinctshutdown in support of right to peacefully protest. The community asking for supporters to come. #BlackLivesMatter" link

  • Tuesday, November 17, 2015 at 11:27 CST – "It appears two journalists were arrested last night. Unacceptable. Free press is critical to democracy." link

  • Tuesday, November 17, 2015 at 07:48 CST – Council Member Bender reportedly visited with activists at the Minneapolis Police Department, 4th Precinct. link

  • Monday, November 16, 2015 at 16:35 CST – "As I tucked my two children in to bed last night after the emotional day after Jamar Clark's shooting, I thought of his family and the pain they must be enduring right now. Jamar, his family, the black community and our entire city deserve justice. Today Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges and our police chief announced that they have requested a federal investigation into the shooting in addition to the investigation underway by the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension. I strongly support this action and am hopeful that the Justice Department will respond and quickly begin their own investigation. I am glad that the mayor is looking for every resource available to the city to ensure a thorough, transparent and impartial investigation and am thankful that Congressman Keith Ellison has also made his own request. I know there is desire for more information and I support this process being as transparent as possible and for as much information to be made available as is possible. I know there is fear that the same old narrative will take place here, that the media and our broader community will start putting Jamar on trial and that is not right and I will do whatever I can in my role to make sure that doesn't happen. Whatever happened, Jamar is in critical condition now and that is terrible and tragic and we should do everything we can to make sure that never happens again. Over the past 20 months, the mayor and the city council have supported body cameras, more community service officer classes and other reforms to ensure more accountability of our department and a greater diversity in our force. I know there is a desire for more reforms and that more reforms are needed. It is also my expectation -- and my understanding that so far this has been the case -- that our police officers support the community's right to peacefully protest. If that is not the case, or if people have any questions, please contact me anytime. I am thankful for the service of the officers who have been there to support the protests and actions, of those in the MPD who have reached out to Jamar's family and those who are working everyday to earn the trust of and to support every community in Minneapolis. I also know that Council President Johnson and Council Member Yang have been talking with community leaders and attending events over the past several days and are hosting a forum tonight and I appreciate very much their and the mayor's commitment to listen to what the community has to say. I am committed to working with them and everyone at city hall to make sure we have as open and transparent an investigation as possible, that justice is served and that we do all that we can to make sure this doesn't happen again." link

  • Was present at City's second press conference

--

Ward 11 — City Council Member John Quincy

  • No public statements

  • Was present at City's second press conference

--

Ward 12 – City Council Member Andrew Johnson

  • Tuesday, November 17, 2015 at 05:44 CST – "I support a federal investigation into the shooting of Jamar Clark. I hope video is released expeditiously. I support strengthening civilian oversight. Last year CM Yang and I hosted two forums on the northside, one on whether Ferguson could happen here and one on increasing police force diversity; we also had multiple meetings at City Hall demanding more action from MPD and HR, looking at things like hiring Minneapolis residents. I support non-violent protest and know that advancing justice is sometimes necessarily disruptive. I am deeply concerned by the accusations, but am withholding judgment of our officer(s) until we know what happened. Regardless, it is tragic that this young person has been gravely injured, and heartbreaking for his family and friends." link

  • "Hopefully the video can provide clarity, ballistics as well. I think they usually wait until all t's are crossed and i's dotted, There's also the caseload, which is ridiculous... I shadowed our investigators for a day (great experience), and they are working 10-15+ cases each, all which are big and involve a ton of work. There is a backlog as well. That's why I asked the Mayor to allocate more money for investigations in her proposed budget, which she did. When my former policy aide was assaulted, it took weeks before they even interviewed her. I think we owe victims more attention, which means getting the resources in place to fully investigate in a timely manner. And in this case, given it's exceptional nature, I hope information is released as feasible during the investigative process. Transparency is extremely important (in fact, I ran on increasing transparency and led the effort for an open data policy, among several other measures)." (Id.)

  • "For me, it's like #BlackLivesMatter vs #AllLivesMatter. Of course she's a victim. Of course he was a bad guy for abusing her. Of course all lives matter, no one is arguing they don't. But the reason for the focusing on him is because regardless of what he did, he was unarmed and is now dead at the hands of police, with accusations that he was bound and shot. If I brought her up in my post, I felt it would minimize or excuse what happened to him when it doesn't and shouldn't. I have seen the horrors of domestic violence, having intervened in a bloody assault on behalf of a victim just two years ago. No one disagrees that she's a victim and deserves justice as well, but likely is dealing with even more trauma now." (Id.)


Ward 13 – City Council Member Linea Palmisano

  • Sunday, November 15, 2015 at 18:38 CST – "Tonight was a community listening session called by Chief Harteau and Mayor Hodges. The pain of the groups here are palpable and the emotions very raw. I want you to know that the whole city mourns this incident and we are all with you. It was good to also see Abou Amara and my colleague Blong Yang here, amongst so many other great community leaders." link

  • Was present at listening session

  • Was present at City's second press conference


Mayor Betsy Hodges

  • Tuesday, November 17, 2015 at 14:48 CST – "I want to provide everyone with an update to the situation regarding the officer-involved shooting and the protests in our city and community. Before I do, I want to thank people for expressing their opinions on such an important issue. I understand and respect the sense of urgency. I am working within my scope of authority to make sure that we have a fair and just process for everyone, and to both listen to and work with the community. To that end I asked for an independent investigation by the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension and a review by the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division and U.S. Attorney Andrew Luger’s Office. I made this request because I believe that that is the best way to build confidence in the process for everyone involved and concerned. In addition, Chief Harteau and I have also been clear in our commitment that people be able to assemble lawfully and peacefully, and have communicated that. In the big picture, I remain steadfastly committed to our ongoing work, through the groundbreaking National Initiative for Building Community Trust and Justice, to enhance procedural justice, reduce implicit bias, and encourage racial reconciliation. For years, I’ve been working to make sure we have the best possible relationship between our officers and the community and that commitment remains. Other requests have been made of me that are outside of my control. I have been asked to release any video of the incident, and the names of officers involved. That data is not the City’s to release: it is in the hands of the BCA and the Justice Department, as part of their independent investigations. I cannot interfere with those investigations; nor, in the spirit of conducting an independent and thorough investigation, should I even appear to do so. I have also been asked to fire officers involved. However, to do so is a violation of their collective-bargaining agreement and 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. I hear people’s frustration. This process is going to require patience on all of our parts, including my own. Thank you for your commitment to a fair and independent process moving forward." link

  • Monday, November 16, 2015 at 17:25 CST – "This afternoon I sent the following letter to Vanita Gupta, Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General of the U.S. Department of Justice, and Andy Luger, United States Attorney for Minnesota: Dear Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Gupta and U.S. Attorney Luger, As you are aware, there was an officer-involved shooting this this past weekend in Minneapolis. At the request of the City of Minneapolis, the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension has initiated an independent investigation of the incident for review by the Hennepin County Attorney. In addition to the state investigation, I am asking the Civil Rights Division and the United States Attorney’s Office to review this matter and open a Civil Rights investigation. We have utmost faith in the competence and independence of the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension. Nevertheless, Minneapolis Police Chief Janeé Harteau and I believe it assists the interests of transparency and community confidence in the outcome of this investigation to have your review and consideration of this case. Thank you for your consideration. Sincerely, Betsy Hodges Mayor, Minneapolis" link

  • Sunday, November 15, 2015 at 13:49 CST – "There was an officer-involved shooting last night. There will be an independent and thorough investigation led by the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension. We have been in contact with the National Initiative for Building Community Trust and Justice and we are getting good advice moving forward. I understand the urgency of the situation for all involved and I share it. We don't know the timeline of the investigation; it will be as expeditious and thorough as possible and the investigators will follow the facts wherever they lead. If you were a witness to the incident last night, please contact the BCA to share any information you have at 651.793.7000 and ask for investigations." link

  • Spoke at City's first press conference

  • Spoke at City's second press conference link

  • Spoke at listening session

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