Despite multiple witnesses claiming that the 24-year-old was allegedly shot while handcuffed, Freeman has determined that the officers acted in self defense.
Ringgenberg and Schwarze responded to a domestic dispute between Clark and his girlfriend in November 2015. Supposedly Clark was resisting arrest when the victim and Ringgenberg got into an altercation and ended up on the ground.
Here are the details of the officer’s account of the fatal incident via CNN:
During the scuffle, Ringgenberg landed on top of Clark, who then went for that officer’s gun, the prosecutor said. According to Freeman, Ringgenberg said when he felt his gun move from his right hip to the small of his back, he reached back to the top of his gun and felt Clark’s “whole” hand on the weapon.
The officer told his partner, “He’s got my gun,” Freeman said. “Ringgenberg believed he was going to die…because he had no control over his gun,” Freeman said. “Ringgenberg felt that Clark didn’t care what happened to him and remembered thinking that he didn’t want his partner to die with his gun.”
Schwarze dropped the handcuffs and took out his gun, according to the prosecutor. Schwarze told investigators he put the gun to the edge of Clark’s mouth and said, “Let go or I’m gonna shoot you.”
Schwarze told investigators that Clark looked directly at him and said, “I’m ready to die.” Schwarze said the “only thing I could think of to do was to save our lives and anyone else in the immediate area so I pulled the trigger,” according to the prosecutor.
Clark’s family members are not satisfied with the officer’s recollection of the situation. “I feel like the story is being made up, and it’s all lies,” said the victim’s cousin, Cameron Clark. “My cousin would never tell the cops to kill him. His life was doing good. My cousin never told me he was ready to die.”
In response to the decision, protestors have taken to the streets of Minneapolis chanting, “Hey, hey, ho ho. These racist cops have got to go.”
“If the city burns down, it’s on your hands” said a protestor to the prosecutor.
According to Mayor Betsy Hodges who said in a statement that her, “heart breaks for the loss of Jamar Clark’s life”, the shooting is still being investigated by the state as well as the U.S. Justice Department.