Five shot near Minnesota protest of police killing of unarmed black man – Reuters

MINNEAPOLIS Police are searching for three white men in the shooting of five people near a Minneapolis police station where demonstrators have gathered for more than a week to protest the shooting of an unarmed black man by officers.

None of the injuries were believed life-threatening in the shooting late Monday, a block from the station where protests have taken place since the fatal shooting of Jamar Clark, 24, on Nov. 15, Minneapolis police said in a statement.

The Black Lives Matter Minneapolis group protesting Clark’s shooting said on its Facebook page that five unarmed protesters were shot by what it described as white supremacists who had been asked to leave and were followed out.

Police have not confirmed a connection between the shooting and the protest. The injured were taken to local hospitals.

Eddie Sutton, Clark’s brother, said in a statement that in light of the shootings, his family believed the demonstrations at the police station should end, “out of imminent concern for the safety of the occupiers.”

“We appreciate Black Lives Matter for holding it down and keeping the protests peaceful,” Sutton’s statement said.

Black Lives Matter plans a march on Tuesday afternoon.

The protests have continued amid questions over whether Clark was handcuffed when he was shot, which police have denied, and demands from protesters that authorities release videos of the incident.

Clark died the next day from a gunshot wound to the head and the officers involved are on leave.

Earlier on Monday, Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton said he reviewed video footage taken from the back of an ambulance and said it does not appear to show conclusively what happened in Clark’s shooting.

The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension is investigating Clark’s shooting as is the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation. The FBI has said release of videos and other evidence would be detrimental to the investigation.

Authorities have said there was no video of the shooting from police dashboard or body cameras, but investigators are reviewing video from business and security cameras in the area, as well as witnesses’ cell phones.

Clark’s shooting comes at a time of heightened debate in the United States over police use of lethal force, especially against black people. Over the past year, protests against killings of unarmed black men and women – some videotaped with phones or police cameras – have rocked a number of cities.

Police used pepper spray and fired rubber marking bullets at least twice when the largely peaceful Minneapolis demonstrations became heated.

A police union representative has said Clark grabbed one officer’s gun, although the weapon remained in its holster.

(Reporting by David Bailey in Minneapolis and Brendan O’Brien in Milwaukee; Editing by Bill Rigby)


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