Tomorrow, on November 25, 2015, Jamar Clark will be remembered, celebrated, eulogized and laid to rest. The Minneapolis Urban League is calling for Wednesday to be A Day of Peace and Mourning for Jamar Clark (and All of Our Jamars) in recognition of the specific tragedy of Jamar Clark's homicide and the ongoing and historical tragedy of unarmed African American men and women who have died at the hands of the police.
Jamar Clark was shot in the head and killed last Sunday by a Minneapolis Police officer. At the time he was shot, Mr. Clark was detained, not armed, escorted by two police officers and, according to several eyewitnesses, handcuffed. While the police and their union representative have denied Mr. Clark was restrained, their public comments have focused attention on Mr. Clark's record, intending to suggest his past misconduct justified the use of lethal force or the loss of life wasn't significant because the victim, Mr. Clark, was less than perfect.
The family of Jamar Clark has been traumatized by the violent manner of his loss, the absence of information or explanation for the shooting and the challenge of navigating their grief amidst the glare of media attention and among competing political agendas. They have called for peace and a cessation of protests for Jamar's sake and the safety of the community.
The Minneapolis Urban League joins the family's appeal and is calling for A Day of Peace and Mourning for Jamar Clark (and All of Our Jamars). Specifically, we are requesting the following:
- No demonstrations of any kind on Wednesday in respect of the family
- On Thursday the organizers of the 4th Precinct vigil declare victory-take yes for an answer-acknowledging
- They demanded the MPD not be allowed to investigate itself-The answer they were given was, Yes!
- They demanded an independent federal investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice-The answer they were given was, Yes!
- And, they demanded the names of the officers involved in Jamar Clark's shooting be released to the public-The answer they were given was, Yes!
- The vigil must now end. It is time to restore order to the Northside community along Plymouth Avenue and James, which has endured open gun fire, traffic and service interruptions, smog from open wood fires, hours of helicopter noise and negative media narrative due to the protest vigil.
The next phase of Justice for Jamar is to allow the investigations-both Federal and local-to take place. The Minneapolis Urban League will continue to pressure and hold accountable the investigative authorities to be fair, thorough and as expeditious as fairness and thoroughness will allow. To that end, the Minneapolis Urban League will continue to appeal to witnesses and anyone with information pertinent to Jamar Clark's homicide to come forward to give their statement to law enforcement or, if they are afraid or unwilling to speak directly to law enforcement, they can give their statement to an attorney at the MUL office at 2100 Plymouth Avenue.
But, tomorrow is A Day of Peace and Mourning for Jamar Clark and All of Our Jamars.