Officers Identified in Fatal Minneapolis Shooting

A police officer talks with demonstrators in front of a north Minneapolis police precinct during a protest in response of Sunday's shooting death of Jamar Clark by police officers in Minneapolis, Minnesota, November 18, 2015. State officials on Wednesday identified the two Minneapolis police officers involved in the fatal shooting of an unarmed black man that has sparked protests and dozens of arrests. REUTERS/Craig Lassig

The two police officers involved in the fatal shooting of Jamar Clark, 24, have been identified. Jamar was said to be unarmed at the time of the shooting. The two officers have been identified as seven-year veterans of the police force, but their race has not been disclosed. Both officers have been with the Minneapolis Police Department for thirteen months.

The officers identified at the scene were Mike Ringgenberg and Dustin Schwarze. Ringgenberg and Schwarze were responding to a domestic assault report when they had an altercation with Clark. It was said that Clark was interfering with a victim receiving medical assistance and had a scuffle with the police officers. Clark was shot in the head by one of the officers and later died from the wound on Monday.

Both police officers were placed on paid secretarial leave, and the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) will run the investigation on Ringgenberg and Schwarze. The officers’ personnel records have been released as well.

Once the names of the two officers were released, police started lining up outside of the precinct where protesters had been camped out since Sunday. The tents were untouched, but a campfire was put out with water by one of the police officers. After being scolded for this action, the fire was re-lit, however. Police chief Janee Harteau stated, “We’ll not tolerate property damage or acts of violence against anyone.”

The BCA is also trying to find out if Clark was handcuffed when he was shot. There are witnesses that state he was handcuffed, but this has yet to be confirmed. The police have said that Clark was not handcuffed and was going for one of the officers’ guns when he was shot. There were handcuffs found at the scene of the crime, but they were on the ground and not on Clark.

“We’re still examining whether or not they were on Mr. Clark or whether or not they were just [fallen] at the scene. That’s what we’re trying to ascertain,” the BCA’s superintendent, Drew Evans, said Tuesday.

There have been many videos that have captured the incident, including an ambulance, a police camera stationed in the spot, public housing cameras, and citizens’ cellphones, but they did not capture the whole incident. The videos from these sources are not being released, however, as investigators do not want the evidence to be tainted. When asked if the videos show if Clark was handcuffed or not, Department of Public Safety spokesperson Bruce Gordon reiterated that the videos didn’t capture the whole incident.

The head of the Minneapolis police union, Bob Kroll, said that he hopes the people saying that Clark was handcuffed “make a statement to the BCA on the matter.”He moreover believes that if those making these statements are lying, “they should be charged with a offense.”

Drew Evans of the BCA says that it typically takes two to four months for an investigation, but the Clark case “has been given top precedence.”The FBI has also agreed to conduct a civil rights investigation.

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