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  • Minnesota Governor Calls On Feds To Investigate Minneapolis Police Force

    Minnesota’s governor has called for the federal government to intervene after police and protesters clashed over the death of an unarmed black man.

    Gov. Mark Dayton has requested the Department of Justice conduct a review of the Minneapolis police department’s actions during protests sparked by the police shooting of a black man earlier this month, NBC News reports. Dayton said in a statement Saturday he will meet with Black Lives Matter protesters in December and encouraged the protesters to meet with the DOJ. He also called on the Minnesota legislature to “address the racial disparities in North Minneapolis and elsewhere in Minnesota.”

    “I will also urge the Department of Justice lawyers and the U.S. Attorney to investigate any matters, which occurred in Minneapolis during the past week that may have violated the civil rights of any Minnesota citizens,” Dayton said in a statement.

    Activists who say James Clark, 24, was handcuffed when fatally shot blocked the entrance to Police Headquarters Nov. 15. The shooting occurred when police responded to a report of an assault just before 1 a.m.. Police say when they arrived there was a man interfering with paramedics who were treating the man who had been assaulted. There was a struggle and one fatal shot fired from an officer. The shooting sparked Black Lives Matter marches through the streets of Minneapolis Sunday.

    The call for federal review comes after criticism of police for pepper spraying a crowd that had thrown bricks and bottles at police. The governor’s attention is just another sign that the dispute has quickly escalated tensions between police of Black Lives Matter protesters in Minneapolis. The feds are already investigating the death itself, but this new call for investigation is another layer of scrutiny on the city’s police, who have said the review will only vindicate the department.

    “We have been saying for a significant amount of time that Minneapolis is one bullet away from Ferguson,” Jason Sole, chair of the Minneapolis NAACP’s criminal justice committee, told Minnesota Public Radio News after the shooting. “That bullet was fired last night. We want justice immediately.”

    But the details of the shooting are disputed. Black Lives Matter activists say the man was handcuffed and unarmed when police shot him, but the city’s police chief said the man was not handcuffed.

    One family member said he was shot “in the head, execution style.” The protesters have demanded a video of the incident. They have marched in the streets and blocked the police headquarters chanting, “arrest the officer or arrest us.”

    “We need to know exactly what happened,” Minneapolis Police Chief Janee Harteau said. “We need to know the truth. Everyone involved needs that and deserves that.”

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