Department of Justice in Washington, D.C. will call the shots
Black Lives Matter Minneapolis (BLM) and the Minneapolis chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), on April 4, 2016, called for Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman to reconsider his decision not to convene a grand jury in the police-involved killing of Jamar Clark, an interesting about-face as the demonstrations and occupations earlier by BLM and the NAACP were in opposition to convening a grand jury.
Freeman carried out his state constitutional responsibilities. But there is also federal law, opening an opportunity to include those who want to be a part. The FBI investigation continues, making contacts and notifying persons of interest. Which is why I have been puzzled by the “no grand jury” statements when the federal government can empanel one on its own and take over the grand jury agenda.
Those who complained that they were not contacted for the investigation of Jamar Clark’s death will now have an opportunity to step up and testify, under oath, in their quest for justice. According to BLM and NAACP, depending on which published story you read, they have 20-40 witnesses not interviewed nor contacted, names I am sure they are turning over to the FBI so these 20-40 individuals can finally testify as the NAACP has long requested.
I am puzzled about how one of their key witnesses, RayAnn Hayes, will testify. She spoke at the April 4, 2016 press conference. Authorities say she gave statements that misrepresented the truth regarding what happened November 15 and 16, 2015. She can clear everything up when she testifies.
She first said she was with Mr. Clark when he was shot (then said she was not), that she was his girlfriend (then said she was not), and that he had physically beat her (then said he did not). Thus, for her and for all witnesses, this will be an opportunity, under oath, to provide absolute clarity to what they saw, said, and did when Jamar Clark was killed.
The FBI forensic laboratory in Quantico, VA, will coordinate and review forensic evidence, including the many videos the NAACP says they have of the shooting that, they say, proves their contentions. Upon completion of the review of statements and videos, the FBI will make a determination deduced from those statements and videos regarding the shooting.
On February 2, 2016, in a letter to the Assistant Attorney General, Criminal Division of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), I asked for a special prosecutor and for a grand jury to be empaneled (the letter is posted on my website: www.theminneapolisstory.com). The federal grand jury process will take at least three weeks to take testimony under oath, after which a legal assessment will be made by the DOJ experts. This should please all who say they were witnesses to the killing of Jamar Clark and who can give first-hand knowledge of the circumstances around Mr. Clark’s death.
In addition, the Minneapolis Police Department (MPD) will conduct an internal affairs investigation. And of course, it is anticipated that there will be civil action taken by Jamar Clark’s heirs. This should be completed by the first week of November 2016.
I await testimony regarding Mr. Clark’s death from the many witnesses, names of which are being given to state and federal authorities. The federal grand jury and testimony about the truth and ensuing federal prosecution will be a good thing that will be followed in various media nation wide. What a remembrance in honor of Mr. Clark, as, together, we pursue the quest for community peace, fairness and justice.