Tuesday, November 24, 2015

White Suspects Fired Into Crowd at Black Lives Matter Protest in Minneapolis
The shooting happened at 10:45 p.m. Monday, as Black Lives Matter activists tried to move away the men who had been taunting them, according to the protesters.

By Karen Zamora Star Tribune
NOVEMBER 24, 2015 — 8:49AM

Police are searching for three white men who allegedly fired into a crowd protesting outside the Minneapolis Police Department’s 4th Precinct Monday night, wounding five people.

The shootings occurred at 10:45 p.m. on Morgan Avenue N. about a block north of the precinct station. Police said via their Twitter feed that they are searching for three white male suspects.

Miski Noor, a media contact for Black Lives Matter, said “a group of white supremacists showed up at the protest, as they have done most nights.”

One of the men wore a mask, said Dana Jaehnert, who had been at the protest site since early evening.

When about a dozen protesters attempted to herd the group away from the area, Noor said, they “opened fire on about six protesters,” hitting five of them. Jaehnert said she heard four gunshots.

The protesters, angry over the fatal police shooting of 24-year-old Jamar Clark on Nov. 15, have maintained a presence outside the police station ever since.

 People gathered around to listen as a man spoke about his encounter with the assailants who shot five protesters earlier in the night with those gathered in front of the Minneapolis Police 4th Precinct headquarters early Tuesday morning.

Those who were shot sustained noncritical injuries, said police spokesman John Elder in a statement.

The gunshot victims were taken to North Memorial Medical Center and Hennepin County Medical Center (HCMC), deputy police chief Medaria Arradondo said at the scene.

A person at the scene said one of the victims had been shot in the stomach, and was undergoing surgery overnight at HCMC.

Expressing concern for the safety of the protesters outside the precinct, Jamar Clark’s brother, Eddie Sutton, urged an end to the encampment.

“Thank you to the community for the incredible support you have shown for our family in this difficult time,” Sutton said in the statement issued early Tuesday. “We appreciate Black Lives Matter for holding it down and keeping the protests peaceful. But in light of tonight’s shootings, the family feels out of imminent concern for the safety of the occupiers, we must get the occupation of the 4th precinct ended and onto the next step.”

Jie Wronski-Riley said the shooting occurred as angry protesters moved the men away from the encampment at the police station. Wronski-Riley heard what sounded like firecrackers and thought, “surely they’re not shooting humans.” Two young black men on either side of him were hit, one in the back and leg, the other in the arm.

At least two of the three men who had been taunting protesters were firing guns, said Wronski-Riley, who described the incident as “really chaotic, really fast.”

“I am obviously appalled that white supremacists would open fire on nonviolent, peaceful protesters,” said Nekima Levy-Pounds, president of the Minneapolis chapter of the NAACP, who returned to the site after the shootings.

Before Monday night’s shooting, BLM had planned a series of events this week.

It has scheduled a news conference Tuesday at 1 p.m. to talk about what was discussed at Sunday night’s community meeting.

The group announced plans for a march at 2 p.m. Tuesday from the 4th Precinct to city hall, the Hennepin County Courthouse and the federal courthouse. A memorial concert is planned for Tuesday night outside the 4th Precinct. A food and clothing drive is planned for Wednesday, and organizers plan a community Thanksgiving on Thursday.

Staff writers Mary Lynn Smith and Claude Peck contributed to this report.

Twitter: @KarenAnelZamora

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