Investigator sabotages integrity of witness
“I heard law books were to dig in, so I dug, way deep.”
— Thurgood Marshall (explaining his success)
“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”
— Martin Luther King Jr.
Expectations were high that the investigation into the circumstances of Jamar Clark’s shooting death on November 15, 2015, would be handled with integrity and honesty. Many words have been written, many reflections have been made, but the integrity of the investigation has been compromised and ruptured.
I knew the investigation was falling apart when we learned two weeks ago that an attempt was carried out to destroy the character of a key witness to the shooting of Jamar Clark. The violations within the investigative process included misrepresentation of a key witness to this tragedy that has gripped our state and nation.
A member of the judiciary of the State of Minnesota was sought out to attempt to conspire to destroy the integrity of one of the witnesses and his information in order to derail the investigation. This raises serious questions in regard to the integrity of the investigation. Investigative agencies will have to look seriously at a legal breach of investigative integrity.
This column stands totally and absolutely behind this serious allegation. This is not hearsay, as I was there when the witness talked to the investigators. Tampering with the investigation will make it difficult to provide the affirmative findings sought by Jamar Clark’s supporters.
Some White Americans feel that when a victim is an African American, liberties can be taken with the doctrines of due process, fairness and the integrity of an investigation in order to initiate a conspiracy against the African American. Unknown to the conspirators, the reputation of and information supplied by this key witness has been verified and thus supported by information received after the witness gave his statement to the investigators.
Thus it became quite clear that at least one of the investigators taking the statement of the witness was already hostile to that witness. That became an even greater concern when it was learned that the investigators never provided a copy of the statement/testimony back to the witness, as required under color of law. They obviously went to great lengths to impugn the character of this witness and to discuss information and testimony relevant to the circumstances surrounding the death of Jamar Clark on a street in North Minneapolis.
We are faced with being at the mercy of others’ choices of behavior, that which supports credibility or that which wrecks it. This goes for any side of those engaged in any discussion.
Those who speak up with integrity about issues that matter in their patterns and practices, help our cause. Those who feel not speaking with integrity, to secure a specific short term “end” for “the greater good,” instead do our shared civil rights cause long-term harm.
It is a credibility killer, as those doing it cause the questions to be raised of how many other investigations and witnesses have been tarnished. How many others are exercising false testimony for the “greater good” that comes back to cause greater harm, whether such patterns and practices are done by Whites or Blacks?
“We must dissent from a government that has left its young without jobs, education or hope. We must dissent from the poverty of vision and the absence of moral leadership. We must dissent because America can do better, because America has no choice but to do better.”
— Thurgood Marshall
“Nonviolence is the sword that heals.”
— Martin Luther King, Jr.