Decision on charges in Minneapolis police killing could come next month

Reuters News
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Posted: Feb 10, 2016 5:06 PM

(Reuters) - The county prosecutor for Minneapolis said on Wednesday he hoped to decide by the end of March whether charges will be filed in last year's fatal police shooting of a black man, now that a state authority has completed its investigation.

The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension has finished a nearly three-month probe into the shooting death of Jamar Clark, 24, by Minneapolis police officers. It turned over its case file to the Hennepin County Attorney's Office on Tuesday, according to a statement from County Attorney Mike Freeman on Wednesday.

Prosecutors will now review the file and additional investigation may be necessary, the statement said.

Clark's November shooting came at a time of national debate over the use of lethal force by police, especially against black men. Minneapolis was among a number of U.S. cities that have seen protests over police killings.

Some witnesses have said Clark was handcuffed or restrained on the ground when he was shot, while authorities have said there was a scuffle and Clark was trying to get a police officer's gun.

Civil rights groups sued Minnesota state agencies on Tuesday to force them to release video footage of the Clark shooting.

The American Civil Liberties Union and the Minneapolis branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People said they were demanding the video be released under the state's freedom of information law, after law enforcement declined to release the footage.

The lawsuit did not say what possible video material may exist but stated the footage could shed light on conflicting accounts of what happened.

(Reporting by Mary Wisniewski in Chicago; Editing by Peter Cooney)