About 300 protesters gathered at the City Hall rotunda Thursday afternoon to demonstrate against the shutdown of the encampment outside Fourth Precinct headquarters in north Minneapolis.
The protests occurred 12 hours after the camps were dismantled, with people demanding more answers into the killing of Jamar Clark. Several developments arose as a result of the 18-day occupation of the police precinct. A federal investigation into Clark’s killing was launched and the names of the two officers involved in the shooting were released.
Demonstrators are demanding for the release of the video footage of Clark’s death and prosecution of the officers, as reported by Star Tribune. Witnesses to the shooting said that Clark was handcuffed at the time of the shooting, while the police maintained that he was not.
Adja Gildersleve addressed the crowd of protesters, saying, “It’s because we showed up in the streets and we showed up at the door and said, ‘You have to stop killing us.’ You don’t have the power. This is real power.” Clark’s cousin, Alexander Clark, said that “people are tired” and that “it’s time for the people to fight back.”
Eight demonstrators were arrested during the demolition of the encampment, wherein authorities used Bobcats, on Thursday. According to Mayor Betsy Hodges, the area of the occupation had become a safety hazard for the neighborhood. It caused the closure of a section of Plymouth Avenue outside the 4th Precinct.
Black Lives Matter organizer Mica Grimm, said, “They can destroy this, but we will be back. We will come back stronger, there will be more people on our side and more people realizing what police are doing in this neighborhood.”
According to CBS Local, Hodges and Police Chief Janee Harteau said the dismantling the encampment occurred to maintain public safety. “We knew that this day was coming, since it was very clear they would not be going on their own,” Harteau said. “So we spent a considerable amount of time, putting together a plan that we felt would be best for all involved.”