On Wednesday, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman announced he has no intention of convening a jury to determine whether or not to charge the two Minnepolis police officers who shot and killed 24-year-old Jamar Clark.
Freeman said he will decide if there is adequate evidence to pursue charges against the two officers identified as Mike Ringgenberg and Dustin Schwarze.
“The accountability and transparency limitations of a grand jury are too high a hurdle to overcome,” Freeman said. “We at Hennepin County will not use a grand jury in the Jamar Clark case.”
Clark’s family applauded Freeman’s decision to eliminate a grand jury’s involvement because his actions show “more accountability and less secrecy.”
In November, police were called to a residence after it was reported Clark was involved in a domestic dispute. Eye witnesses say that at the time of the shooting, Clark was in handcuffs and lying down on the ground. Officers say he was attempting to grab an officer’s gun when a scuffle ensued. Clark was shot in the face and rushed to an area hospital where he died the next day.
Freeman said in the future grand juries will no longer be used in police-involved shootings. The case involving officers and the death of Clark will be the first time in at least 40 years that the prosecutor will determine whether or not any charges will be filed, the Star Tribune reports.
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