Who Are Dustin Schwarze & Mark Ringgenberg, The Officers Involved In Jamar Clark's Shooting?
Since Jamar Clark was shot early Sunday, Black Lives Matter demonstrators have been demanding the identities of the officers involved. The 24-year-old unarmed black man was shot by Minneapolis police officers when they responded to a domestic violence call. Some eyewitnesses say Clark was already handcuffed when he was shot, while officers say he was not cuffed, and interfered with emergency workers before engaging in a physical struggle with police. On Wednesday, the protesters' demands were met when the two officers involved in Clark's shooting were identified as Mark Ringgenberg and Dustin Schwarze.
The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) revealed the identities of the two officers in a press release Wednesday after launching its own investigation into the incident. According to the BCA's release, Ringgenberg has been a law enforcement officer for seven years, including 13 months with the Minneapolis Police Department. Schwarze has also been a police officer for seven years, and has also been with the Minneapolis Police Department for 13 months. Both officers are now on standard administrative leave.
The release also describes the events of Sunday, November 15, when the two officers responded to a request for assistance from paramedics who were tending to a domestic violence call. According to the officers, Clark interfered with the emergency workers when they attempted to provide medical aid to the assault victim. The officers have also listed Clark as a suspect in the assault case. The BCA's report goes on to describe the circumstances of Clark's shooting, which it says occurred after a physical altercation with police while Clark was not handcuffed.
Eyewitnesses and protesters have since disputed these circumstances. In its investigation, the BCA gathered numerous videos from bystanders' cell phones, nearby security cameras, an ambulance recorder, and a mobile police camera, but none of them show the whole incident. In the absence of a police body camera or a dash cam, investigators are left with just fragments of the incident.
Clark was pronounced dead Monday night by the Hennepin County Medical Examiner's Office, who ruled his death a homicide Tuesday. Later that day, BCA Superintendent Drew Evans announced at a press conference that the FBI would be launching a civil rights investigation into the case.
"I'm just mad, disgusted, things turning out the way it is," Jamar's father, James Clark, told reporters. "He should still be here today."