Five people who had been protesting the recent police killing of an African American man in Minneapolis were wounded when shots were fired near a police precinct in the city.
All were hospitalized Monday night with non-life threatening injuries, according to The Washington Post. Police are looking for three white male suspects.
The shootings did not actually occur at the #Justice4Jamar protest, but in “close proximity” to it, police spokesman John Elder said.
Several of the protesters outside of the 4th precinct have been there for most of the week, at least since the Nov. 15 shooting involving 24-year-old Jamar Clark and two police officers in Minneapolis. Protesters have been holding daily demonstrations about a block from the precinct.
Police made the announcement on social media that five people had gunshot wounds and that officers were searching for “3 white male suspects” who quickly fled the scene.
5 people shot near 4th PCT, transported to hospital w/ non-life threatening injuries. OFCs searching for 3 white male suspects.
— Minneapolis Police (@MinneapolisPD) November 24, 2015
“Tonight, white supremacists attacked the #4thPrecinctShutDown in an act of domestic terrorism,” Black Lives Matter Minneapolis posted on Facebook. “We won’t be intimidated.”
Clark’s family called for the protests to stop after the shooting. However, Black Lives Matter Minneapolis promised to return to the police station for an additional demonstration at 2 p.m. Tuesday, The Post reported.
Wear all black tomorrow. 2pm at the precinct. We will not be intimidated. #4thPrecinctShutDown
— Black Lives MPLS (@BlackLivesMpls) November 24, 2015
Several witnesses have come forward regarding the shooting. Oluchi Omeoga, a young protester who participated in the demonstrations, said she witnessed the situation.
Omeoga along with some of her fellow protesters saw three people in masks who “weren’t supposed to be there,” she said to Associated Press. A few protesters followed the suspects when they left the crowd. When they reached the corner, they pulled their weapons out.
“A group of white supremacists showed up at the protest, as they have done most nights,” a Black Lives Matter organizer Miski Noor told the Minneapolis Star Tribune.
Noor claimed the white men “opened fire on about six protesters,” after protesters tried to get the men away from the protest area. Police have yet to confirm or deny Noor’s story.
Several have spoken out about this shooting as well. Nekima Levy-Pounds, president of the Minneapolis chapter of the NAACP, returned to the scene and said, “I am obviously appalled that white supremacists would open fire on nonviolent, peaceful protesters.”
And a supporter of the demonstrations, U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison (D), said, “I don’t want to perpetuate rumor.”
“I’d rather just try to get the facts out. That’s a better way to go. I know there’s a lot of speculation as to who these people were. And they well could have been, I’m not trying to say they weren’t white supremacists. But I just haven’t been able to piece together enough information to say with any real clarity,” Ellison said.
This shooting came just one night before the one-year anniversary of a Missouri grand jury’s decision against indicting white Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson in the fatal shooting of Michael Brown, The Post reports.
Details on Clark’s Shooting:
Details surrounding the death of Clark have been foggy at best. This has prompted the NAACP along with the protesters to call for the release of any footage of the shooting.
Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton said that the one video he has viewed was not helpful. Dayton added that the camera gave a narrow view of the back of the ambulance. But, the focus should be in the back of the vehicle, not on the outside.
“It doesn’t show anything that would be by any confirmation to one point of view or another,” Dayton explained to reporters Monday.
Sections of the incident were recorded on different cameras, but the entire incident was not recorded on one camera, said superintendent of the Minnesota Department of Public Safety’s Bureau of Criminal Apprehension Drew Evans. None of the videos will be released until the investigation closes.
The governor described the ambulance video, and it provided some help, but not a lot.
“It’s just a very brief fragment where Mr. Clark and one of the officers are encountering each other, and then they disappear from sight and there is no other view of them until one of the officers after,” Dayton said. “There’s no audio, but it appears after the shot was fired one of the officers comes back into the camera view.”