The total number of police killings in 2015 hit quadruple digits last Sunday, according to The Guardian’s The Counted. Soon, Jamar Clark may be number 1,001. The 24-year-old man—suspected of an assault on a woman and hindering medical aid to her—was reportedly shot above the left eye by a Minneapolis police officer early November 15. He may have been handcuffed, and was certainly unarmed.
Hundreds of protesters shut down Interstate 94 on Monday night. Mayor Betsy Hodges has called for a U.S. Department of Justice investigation, and protesters have begun a sit-in at the city’s 4th police precinct.
Jason Sole, a local NAACP official, said on Sunday, “We have been saying for a significant amount of time that Minneapolis is one bullet away from Ferguson. That bullet was fired last night.”
The officers involved in Clark’s shooting weren’t wearing body cameras, and the police chief has declined to reveal whether their squad car dashboard camera was filming, pending an investigation. We’re also likely to see another long, drawn-out legal process, beginning with the cops investigating themselves. Prosecutorial shenanigans in the Michael Brown case (and, more recently, Tamir Rice’s in Cleveland) make it plain that the justice apparatus is structured to clear the cops in such shootings. Local government and law enforcement are simply not up to the task. The immediate appointment of an independent investigator and prosecutor to police shooting cases is the least that can be done.
Update, 4:00pm ET: Jamar Clark has died, per the Associated Press.