No Federal Civil Rights Charges in Death of Jamar Clark: Prosecutor

iStock/Thinkstock(MINNEAPOLIS) -- No federal civil rights charges will be filed against the two Minneapolis police officers who fatally shot Jamar Clark in November 2015, prosecutors announced Wednesday.

U.S. Attorney Andrew Luger said in a statement that there was insufficient evidence to charge officers Mark Ringgenberg and Dustin Schwarze in the lethal confrontation.

Clark, a 24-year-old black man, was shot on Nov. 15, 2015, while struggling with the two officers, and died one day later. Witnesses on the scene said Clark was handcuffed when he was shot. But Luger said physical evidence showed that the victim was not handcuffed at the time he died.

"Although Clark’s death is undeniably tragic, the evidence is insufficient to meet these substantial evidentiary requirements. In light of this, and for the reasons explained below, this matter is not a prosecutable violation of the federal civil rights statutes," Luger said.

Black Lives Matter protests calling for justice and transparency escalated in the days following Clark's death. Police said they were forced to use a chemical irritant to control the crowd after protesters threw rocks and bottles at officers.

Luger is second prosecutor to decline to file charges in Clark's death. Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman said earlier this year that the two police officers' use of force was justified because Clark was reaching for one of their guns.

"At the time he was shot, Clark was attempting to gain control of the [officers'] firearm," Freeman said.

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