5 shot at Minneapolis police shooting protest
Five people were shot and suffered non-life-threatening injuries during ongoing protests late Monday over the fatal shooting of a black man by Minneapolis police officers, authorities said.
The Star-Tribune reported that the shootings took place near an alley about a block away from the protesters' encampment outside the 4th Precinct station, where a sit-in has been conducted since the shooting of 24-year-old Jamar Clark Nov. 15.
It was not immediately clear whether any arrests had been made in connection with the shooting.
Oluchi Omeoga, who has been participating in protests since last Monday, witnessed the incident.
Protesters saw three people wearing masks who "weren't supposed to be there," Omeoga told the Associated Press. Eventually, the three people left the crowd and began walking down the street, and a few protesters followed. When they reached a corner, the three people pulled out weapons and gunshots rang out, Omeoga said.
Police Department Spokesman John Elder said officers responded to the latest shooting around 10:40 p.m. and that dozens of officers assisted victims and secure the scene.
Miski Noor, a spokeswoman for Black Lives Matter Minneapolis, said she arrived at the precinct about five to 10 minutes after the shooting. She said police had put up tape around the shooting scene and the crowd was growing in size. Noor told the Star-Tribune that the shooters were "a group of white supremacists" who had turned up at the protest site on several occasions.
Mica Grimm, an organizer with Black Lives Matter who also said she arrived on the scene soon after the shooting, said two people were shot in the leg, another in the arm and a fourth in the stomach. None suffered life-threatening injuries.
Clark's family, in a statement attributed to his brother Eddie Sutton and issued through U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison's office, thanked protesters for "the incredible support" they have shown the family.
"But in light of tonight's shootings, the family feels out of imminent concern for the safety of the occupiers, we must get the occupation of the 4th precinct ended and onto the next step," the statement said.
Black Lives Matter had previously planned to announce "next steps" on Tuesday morning following a weekend meeting with community members about strategy.
Authorities have said Clark was shot during a struggle with police after he interfered with paramedics who were trying to assist an assault victim. But some people who said they saw the shooting allege Clark was handcuffed.
Protesters and Clark's family have been calling for investigators to release video of the shooting. The state Bureau of Criminal Apprehension said it has video from the ambulance, a mobile police camera and other sources, but none of it shows the event in its entirety. The agency, which is conducting a state investigation, said releasing the footage now would taint its investigation.
A federal criminal civil rights investigation is also underway to determine whether police intentionally violated Clark's civil rights through excessive force.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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