Five Black Lives Matter protestors were shot near Minneapolis Police Department’s 4th Precinct early Monday. Officers are currently searching for “three white male suspects” who fled the scene. None of the protestors shot sustained life-threatening injuries. Activists intend to return to the precinct to continue demonstrations.
The protestors had been outside of the precinct since the November 15th shooting of 24-year-old Jamar Clark. Police responded to reports of gunshots from the area and moved in. A local resident who was present at the shooting, Henry Habu, says he saw three men and a woman in ski masks recording the protestors; other witnesses saw three men in ski masks. When asked about their identities and purpose, the masked people would not answer.
“Tonight, white supremacists attacked the #4thPrecinctShutDown in an act of domestic terrorism,” Black Lives Matter Minneapolis said on their Facebook page. “We won’t be intimidated.”
Some members of the community tried to remove tension from the situation. Carrie Brown, who was also present for the shooting, said, “One of the white protestors who had been with us since the beginning said, ‘Be careful, those guys are white supremacists…One of our young men reached out and touched one of them and said, ‘Oh, he has a vest on, like a bulletproof vest.’”
Eddie Sutton, Jamar Clark’s brother, issued a statement regarding the shootings: “Thank you to the community for the incredible support you have shown for our family in this difficult time. 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.”