DOJ Rules the Police Murder of Jamar Clark Didn’t Violate His Civil Rights

June 13, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper |


Jamar Clark
Jamar Clark

On June 1, the U.S. Department of in-Justice (DOJ) announced that no charges would be brought against the police who murdered Jamar Clark in Minneapolis on November 15, 2015. This despite the fact that many witnesses say police handcuffed Jamar, knocked him to the ground, and then shot him in the head.

Yet AGAIN the Feds couldn’t find any violations of the constitutional rights of a Black man murdered by police. And as they do over and over, the DOJ announced, “We would have had to show that they specifically intended to commit a crime.”

The DOJ report says that if it were the case that Clark was handcuffed, that would establish a basis for charges against the police who killed him. But according to their own report, “Approximately half of the civilian eyewitnesses interviewed by the FBI reported having seen handcuffs on Clark (and other witnesses believed, based on Clark’s body positioning, that he was handcuffed).” But even beyond the fact that so many witnesses say Clark was handcuffed, why does a person have to be handcuffed while being murdered for a murder to be a murder?

Yes there's a conspiracy, to get the cops off

"Yes there's a conspiracy... to get the cops off" Is a clip from Revolution: Why It's Necessary, Why It's Possible, What It's All About, a film of a talk by Bob Avakian, given in 2003 in the United States. More about Bob Avakian here

Over and over, police murder someone, and local prosecutors rule it “justified.” And if there is outrage, the DOJ steps in. But then what?

  • The DOJ whitewashed the murder of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri—saying that was not a violation of his civil rights despite the insistence of the most credible witnesses that Mike Brown had his hands up and was no threat to the pig when he was gunned down.
  • The DOJ ruled that the police didn’t violate the rights of a Black man, Dontre Hamilton, when they murdered him in a park in Milwaukee. The murder happened after two other cops had already checked on Hamilton and concluded he was not doing anything wrong.
  • New York City police lynched Eric Garner—and everyone saw it on video—and two years later the DOJ still has brought no charges.

The DOJ did bring charges in the case of Walter Scott, a Black man shot eight times in the back while running from a cop in South Carolina. But this is the exception that proves the rule. The cop who murdered Walter Scott concocted a story claiming Scott had fought him and grabbed his taser, but video emerged that showed the cop planting the taser next to Scott’s body. Scott’s family’s lawyer commented about the DOJ charges against the cop: “This never happens.” And he cited examples where no charges were brought by the DOJ—like in the cases of Michael Brown and Trayvon Martin. Trayvon was murdered by an openly racist vigilante, George Zimmerman, but the DOJ found no basis to bring civil rights charges against Zimmerman.

We don’t need federal cover-ups! They’re part of the problem! We need to STOP police murder, and overthrow the system that perpetrates and perpetuates it.

Minneapolis, March 30, after it was announced that the pigs who killed Jamar Clark would not be charged. Photo: Fibonacci Blue
Minneapolis, March 30, after it was announced that the pigs who killed Jamar Clark would not be charged. Photo: Fibonacci Blue



Volunteers Needed... for and Revolution

Send us your comments.

If you like this article, subscribe, donate to and sustain Revolution newspaper.

REVOLUTION AND RELIGION The Fight for Emancipation and the Role of Religion, A Dialogue Between Cornel West & Bob Avakian
BA Speaks: Revolution Nothing Less! Bob Avakian Live
BAsics from the Talks and Writings of Bob Avakian
Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America (Draft Proposal)
WHAT HUMANITY NEEDS Revolution, and the New Synthesis of Communism
You Don't Know What You Think You 'Know' About... The Communist Revolution and the REAL Path to Emancipation Its History and Our Future Interview with Raymond Lotta
The Oppression of Black People, The Crimes of This System and the Revolution We Need