Minneapolis Protesters Say They Won’t Be Cowed By Terrorism, Police Arrest Three White Men
Black Lives Matters activists remain camped outside the Fourth Precinct station in Minneapolis in spite of a shooting that wounded five people on Monday. Activists had gathered outside the police station to protest the death of Jamar Clark, a Black man who was allegedly shot dead by police while handcuffed. The protesters vowed to remain outside the station until a police officer is arrested over Clark’s death. The protesters are still dug in at the protest site, which hosted a concert on Tuesday, according to The Associated Press. Protesters were also seen stacking firewood, eating donuts and drinking coffee. They were also joined by U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison.
According to The StarTribune, about 1,000 people marched to City Hall a day after the attack in which five protesters were shot. Three white men have been taken into custody in relation to the shooting—Allen Lawrence “Lance” Scarsella III, Nathan Gustavsson and Daniel Macey. Police also arrested a Hispanic man, but later released him after it was discovered that he was not at the scene of the shooting.
The shooting occurred on Monday after a group of protesters tried to confront three white masked men who showed up at the scene of the demonstration. According to Miski Noor, a media contact for Black Lives Matter, the men were believed to be white supremacists. BLM activists are calling the shooting an act of terrorism, even though authorities have declined to do so.
In an interview on CNN, Raeisha Williams, communications chair of the Minneapolis NAACP, said protesters believe police officers were involved with the attack on them.
“We believe the police department is facilitating the injustice, bullying the protesters,” Williams said. “And we also believe that they’re involved in this shooting. We know from blackboards and chat rooms and also videos that we have posted on our website that police that are from different counties, police from different districts have come down to entice the protesters, have come down to bully the protesters.”
However Scott Seroka, a police department spokesperson, said the arrested men had no connection to the police.
Meanwhile, The StarTribune said several federal agencies are looking into Clark’s death. The shooting is being investigated by the FBI, the U.S. Attorney’s office and the Justice Department’s Civil Rights division. Hennepin County District Attorney Mike Freeman said he plans to let a grand jury decide if criminal charges should be filed. However, grand jury have a habit of not indicting police officers.
Eddie Sutton, brother of Jamar Clark, urged the protesters to end their encampment because he was concerned about their safety. However, some the shooting victims returned to the site of the protest Tuesday. Wesley Martin, who was shot in the knee, said he suspected the white men who appeared on Monday night, were up to no good.
“I’ve been out here every night since it started, and you know when people look suspicious,” Martin said in an interview with The StarTribune.