Jamar Clark Shooting: Demonstrators Shut Down Minneapolis Interstate

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(CNN) — Black Lives Matter protesters shut down a Minneapolis interstate Monday evening, a day after the police shooting of Jamar Clark, who later died.

Authorities said Clark died Monday night and his body was taken to the Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s Office.

About 200 to 300 people took part in the protest, which closed traffic on Interstate 94 for about three hours Monday night, said Lt. Tiffani Schweigart, spokeswoman for the Minnesota State Police. Fifty-one people were arrested.

Protesters clashed not only with police, but also with drivers, some who were angry enough to try to force their way through the crowd on the roadway, according to CNN affiliate WCCO. When police arrived and started rerouting traffic off the interstate and onto secondary roads, protesters tried to block that action as well, forming a human chain across the detour.

Schweigart said police were able to clear the highway without force, but squad cars were damaged by rocks and bottles and one officer was slightly injured after being punched in the face by a protester, who later fled the scene.

The shooting

A group of protesters also demonstrated Sunday night outside a Minneapolis Police Department precinct, angry at the shooting of Clark early Sunday morning when police tried to arrest him.

Officers were responding to a call of a woman being assaulted by a man. While on the way to that call, police were told the suspect was interfering with paramedics. When police arrived, a struggle ensued and Clark was shot by an officer, said John Elder, public information officer for the Minneapolis Police Department.

Clark was taken to Hennepin County Medical Center, where he later died, his family told WCCO.

Police said Clark was not handcuffed when he was shot, but protesters dispute that.

Protesters also want officials to release all video of the shooting and the names of the officers involved. But that may not happen quickly. Investigators want to first talk to the two officers involved, said Mona Dohman, commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Public Safety. Neither officer was wearing a body camera.

At a news conference, Minneapolis Police Chief Janeé Harteau, citing the ongoing investigation, wouldn’t answer questions about whether Clark was armed or how close the officers were when he was shot.

Federal investigation ordered

Earlier Monday, Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges asked the Justice Department and the U.S. Attorney’s Office to open a civil rights investigation into the shooting.

Hodges, in a letter to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, hoped a federal review would increase “transparency and community confidence in the outcome of this investigation.”

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