This Wednesday, in a historic decision, County Attorney Mike Freeman listened to our community and moved toward transparency and accountability by deciding not to use a grand jury in the Jamar Clark case in Minneapolis. Further, his statement extended into future police shooting cases in the county. This huge win, which is a game-changing step toward a new system of police accountability in Minneapolis and across the country, would not have happened without you.
In December, we launched a petition, participated in marches and vigils, and made many phone calls to end grand juries in police shootings. Here is our statement on Wednesday's announcement:
Today, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman listened to the community and took a bold step toward transparency and accountability by deciding not to use a grand jury in the Jamar Clark case, or in future police shooting cases in Hennepin County.
After four months of organizing including the encampment at the 4th Precinct, marches, thousands of petition signatures, phone calls to Freeman's office, Freeman Friday protests, an open letter from Jamar Clark's parents imploring Freeman not to use a grand jury, and precinct caucus resolutions all over the metro area to end grand juries in police shootings, Freeman announced today he would not use a grand jury to determine whether to charge the officers who killed Jamar Clark. Today's announcement is an acknowledgment that the grand jury is an antiquated legal tool. This decision is a clear reflection of pressure from the community and listening to our concerns about transparency and accountability.
"We thank County Attorney Freeman for taking this important step toward police accountability," said Anthony Newby, executive director of Neighborhoods Organizing for Change. "In cities across the Midwest, black-led organizing is leading a movement for more accountability for officer-involved shootings. This week, Chicago and Cleveland voted out county attorneys who've failed to deliver justice for their communities while overpolicing them. Ferguson, MO has accepted important changes from the Department of Justice. Freeman's decision not to use a grand jury in Minneapolis is the latest example of a shift in power in the Midwest. Organizing works."
Freeman's decision today is a game-changing step toward a new system of police accountability, in Hennepin County and across the country. To everyone who signed a petition, made a phone call, or joined a march: thank you. Today's victory is yours, and an important step toward #Justice4Jamar. We will continue fighting for justice for Jamar--and as today's victory reminds us, when we fight, we win.