saw this at 2am last night and figured there'd be a plat thread by morning
from the washpost:
Simmering racial tensions have boiled over yet again after several men shot five people who had been protesting the recent police killing of an African American man in Minneapolis.
The shooting occurred late Monday night about a block from Minneapolis Police Department’s 4th Precinct, where protesters have held daily demonstrations since the fatal Nov. 15 police shooting of 24-year-old Jamar Clark.
Police announced on social media that five people suffered non-life-threatening gunshot wounds, and that officers were searching for “3 white male suspects” who fled the scene.
A police spokesman confirmed to The Washington Post that those shot had been protesting outside the police station before the incident.
“Tonight, white supremacists attacked the #4thPrecinctShutDown in an act of domestic terrorism,” Black Lives Matter Minneapolis said on Facebook. “We won’t be intimidated.”
Though Clark’s family called for the protests to come to an end following the shooting, Black Lives Matter Minneapolis vowed to return to the police station for another demonstration on Tuesday.
Wear all black tomorrow. 2pm at the precinct. We will not be intimidated. #4thPrecinctShutDown
— Black Lives MPLS (@BlackLivesMpls) November 24, 2015
A video recorded by a journalist at the scene showed people fleeing from the shooting — then screaming for an ambulance. A young African American man was seen writhing in pain with an apparent gunshot wound to the leg while fellow protesters — then police and paramedics — tried to help.
Details of the shooting, however, remain murky.
Oluchi Omeoga, a young protester who has participated in the demonstrations since last Monday, said she witnessed the incident.
Omeoga and her fellow protesters saw three people wearing masks who “weren’t supposed to be there,” she told the Associated Press. When the three interlopers left the crowd and began walking down the street, a few protesters followed them. But when the three men reached a corner, she said, they pulled out weapons and fired at the protesters.
“A group of white supremacists showed up at the protest, as they have done most nights,” Miski Noor, a Black Lives Matter organizer, told the Minneapolis Star Tribune.
Police have not confirmed or denied Noor’s claim.
Noor said the white men “opened fire on about six protesters,” after the protesters tried to herd the men away from the protest area.
Dana Jaehnert, another demonstrator, told the newspaper that one of the men wore a mask. She said she heard four gunshots.
Jie Wronski-Riley, a student at the University of Minnesota, told the Star Tribune that the shooting occurred as protesters tried to move the counter-demonstrators, who had been taunting protesters, away from the protesters’ camp in front of the police station. Suddenly, Wronski-Riley heard what sounded like firecrackers.
“Surely they’re not shooting human beings,” he thought to himself before looking down and realizing that two African American men on either side of him had been hit, he told the Star Tribune, adding that the incident turned “really chaotic, really fast.”
Nekima Levy-Pounds, president of the Minneapolis chapter of the NAACP, returned to the scene after the shooting incident.
“I am obviously appalled that white supremacists would open fire on nonviolent, peaceful protesters,” she told the Star Tribune.
Police floodlights illuminate the protest encampment outside the 4th Precinct police station November 20, 2015 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Stephen Maturen/Getty Images)
U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison (D), who has supported the demonstrations, spoke out about the shooting.
“I don’t want to perpetuate rumor,” he said, according to Minnesota Public Radio. “I’d rather just try to get the facts out. That’s a better way to go. I know there’s a lot of speculation as to who these people were. And they well could have been, I’m not trying to say they weren’t white supremacists. But I just haven’t been able to piece together enough information to say with any real clarity.”
The shooting occurred the night before the one-year anniversary of a Missouri grand jury’s decision against indicting white Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson in the fatal shooting of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown. That decision reignited powerful frustrations about America’s policing of African Americans.
In Minneapolis, protesters have been camping out in front of the 4th Precinct since Nov. 15, when two MPD officers were involved in the contentious killing of Jamar Clark.
Authorities said officers were responding to a call for help from paramedics, who said Clark was interrupting their attempts to help an assault victim. Clark, who was unarmed, was also a suspect in the assault, police said.
“At some point during an altercation that ensued between the officers and the individual, an officer discharged his weapon, striking the individual,” the state Department of Public Safety said in Nov. 17 statement.
Clark died in a hospital a day after being shot.
Even before his death, however, his shooting was already causing outrage. Several witnesses claimed that Clark was handcuffed at the time of the fatal shooting, although police claimed otherwise. The Minnesota Department of Public Safety’s Bureau of Criminal Apprehension is now investigating the shooting at the request of MPD.
As protests gained strength last week, Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges also asked the Justice Department to open a federal civil rights investigation into the shooting.
Both Black Lives Matter organizers and the Minneapolis NAACP have called on authorities to release video of the shooting.
But Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton said Monday that video footage taken from an ambulance at the scene was inconclusive. Dayton, who met with protesters and Clark’s family on Saturday, said he has urged federal investigators to release the tapes as soon as possible.
Although largely peaceful, the demonstrations have been disrupted by several other incidents. More than 50 protesters were arrested on Nov. 16 after they shut down a highway. And on Friday, police announced they had arrested two men for spray-painting profanity on the 4th precinct’s walls.
After Monday night’s shooting, Clark’s family thanked protesters for their “incredible support” but said protests outside the police station should stop.
“Thank you to the community for the incredible support you have shown for our family in this difficult time,” Jamar Clark’s brother, Eddie Sutton, said in a statement, according to Minnesota Public Radio. “We appreciate Black Lives Matter for holding it down and keeping the protests peaceful.
“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 onto the next step.”