Minneapolis officers cleared in shooting death of Jamar Clark

Members of the group Black Lives Matter march to city hall during a protest in Minneapolis, Minnesota Nov. 24, 2015, after the police shooting death of Jamar Clark. The officers involved in the shooting were cleared of wrongdoing this week. Photo By Craig Lassig/Reuters

Two Minneapolis officers have been cleared of wrongdoing in the fatal shooting last year of an African-American man, the department's police chief said on Friday.

Minneapolis Police Chief Janee Harteau said two white police officers followed the department's protocol on Nov. 15 during a skirmish with Jamar Clark that led to the death of the 24-year-old man.

Police said that officers Mark Ringgenberg and Dustin Schwarze were answering a call for a possible assault when they discovered Clark interfering with paramedics who were attending to an injured female, the Associated Press reported.

The officers attempted to handcuff Clark when a scuffle ensued, an investigation conducted by the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension found.

Clark was subsequently shot in the head by Schwarze during a struggle after Ringgenberg called out that Clark's hand was on his firearm, according to the investigation, though witnesses said Clark was handcuffed during the incident.

Citing the report, Harteau said the officers were justified in using deadly force and will not face disciplinary action. Local and federal authorities also declined to press charges against the officers.

"These officers did not dictate the outcome of this incident," Harteau said. "I can say with absolute certainty that I support the actions of Officers Ringgenberg and Schwarze the night of Nov. 15."

An attorney representing Clark's family called the decision "absurd" while also noting the family would file a civil lawsuit over the incident.

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