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Community, Witnesses React To Minneapolis Officer-Involved Shooting

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges is calling for the Department of Justice to investigate an officer-involved shooting over the weekend.

Police say there was a struggle when they tried to arrest Jamar Clark early Sunday morning. Police were responding to a report of a man assaulting a woman on Plymouth Avenue North. On the way to that call, police were notified that the suspect was interfering with paramedics.

That's when the struggle ensued and officers shot Clark.

Mayor Hodges said Monday that she wants the federal government to open a civil rights investigation.

WCCO's Angela Davis spoke to community members and witnesses about what they saw.

Since Sunday morning, we've heard dramatically different versions about what happened to 24-year-old Jamar Clark. People who say they witnessed the shooting insisted he was down on the ground and restrained by handcuffs when an officer shot him in the head.

Police have said that's not true. Monday afternoon, WCCO spoke with a little boy who says he saw everything as he peeked out his front door.

"There was already a lot of commotion going on at the Elk's. I thought there was a big ole fight in the parking lot. That's why I stepped out the door," Ze'morion Dillon-Hoskin said.

Dillon- Hoskin said he first saw an ambulance and then a man who police were trying to keep away from a woman who was hurt.

"After that the police pulled up and tell him to put his hands up and then put him in handcuffs," Dillon-Hoskin said.

He says he saw two officers slam Clark to the ground.

"And the other officer laid on top of him, and the other officer put his knee in his back," Dillon-Hoskin said.

And then, there was a gunshot.

"He grabbed his gun and shot him in the back of his head," Dillon-Hoskin said.

At the same time right across the street at the Elks Lodge, a group of customers say they were headed home.

"When we got outside, we saw that this kid was already restrained, pinned down. There was no kicking, moving or anything. They had him fully detained, restrained," Teto Wilson said.

Wilson owns a barbershop on the city's north side. He says he wasn't close enough to be able to see if Clark was handcuffed.

"I'm a black man myself.  I have a 24-year-old son and other children. I would want someone to speak up if something like that happened to me or my children," Wilson said.

At the 4th precinct, members of Black Lives Matters are vowing to camp out indefinitely.

"We are getting the attention of the police department, of the mayor and of the country. We want folks to know we are not going to just stand by and stand for this kind of action taken against our community members and out families," protester Miski Noor said.

Dillon-Hoskin's mother says Minneapolis police interviewed her son Monday.

"Your eyes ain't going to lie to you. What you see is what you see. You can't make up something that your eyes have seen," Tequila Dillon said.

Elks Lodge has security cameras perched near the rooftop. But it's across the street and it was dark at the time. We don't know how much of the arrest and shooting the cameras caught. We do know, it's being looked into by investigators.

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