Activists, family calling for $20 million settlement in Jamar Clark case

Mediation continues Tuesday in excessive force case

Sloane Martin
May 20, 2019 - 7:22 pm
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Community members and activists Monday evening called on the city of Minneapolis to give Jamar Clark's family the same $20 million settlement as it gave to Justine Damond's.

They circulated a petition with 500 signatures that reads in part, "if Justine's life is worth $20 million, so is Jamar's." A federal judge ordered all parties to court Tuesday for mediation, telling them to stay through the evening if necessary with preparations for settlement papers.

Clark was 24 when he was killed in November 2015 outside a party on North Plymouth Avenue. Investigators said it happened after a struggle with two MPD officers and he might have been reaching for one of the officer's firearms. Neither was criminally charged and the case set off weeks of protests. In Damond's case, former MPD officer Mohamed Noor was convicted at jury trial of third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter before the state's record settlement for a police shooting.

Jamar's father, James Clark, says the excessive force lawsuit has gone on too long and they want the same justice as Damond's family.

"It's sad, you know, that a black man gotta go through so much to get justice and still, justice ain't been done," he said.

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Activist and attorney Nekima Levy Armstrong says in both cases, Minneapolis Police Department use-of-force training and BCA investigations were called into question by the shooting victims' families, and the shooting victims were unarmed.

"But the reality is that we saw the city of Minneapolis hold the life of a white, affluent woman on a pedestal in comparison to the black and brown people who have been shot and killed by police," she said.

The Minneapolis City Council rejected a settlement earlier this month right around the time of the Damond settlement announcement which rankled community members already speaking out about the racial elements of the trial.

City leaders held a closed door meeting to discuss the litigation last week, but did not comment to media.