Five Black Lives Matter protesters were shot late Monday night in Minneapolis at the Jamar Clark protest encampment near the Fourth Precint police station.
An ongoing vigil was started November 15 over the police shooting of an unarmed Black man, Jamar Clark earlier this month.
5 people shot near 4th PCT, transported to hospital w/ non-life threatening injuries. OFCs searching for 3 white male suspects.
— Minneapolis Police (@MinneapolisPD) November 24, 2015
“5 people shot near 4th PCT, transported to hospital w/ non-life threatening injuries. OFCs searching for 3 white male suspects.”
The Minneapolis Star-Tribune reported an organizer claimed the attack was unprovoked and that the shooters were three ‘white supremacists.’
“Miski Noor, a media contact for Black Lives Matter, said “a group of white supremacists showed up at the protest, as they have done most nights.”
“One of the three counterdemonstrators wore a mask, said Dana Jaehnert, who had been at the protest site since early evening.
“When about a dozen protesters attempted to herd the group away from the area, Noor said, they “opened fire on about six protesters,” hitting five of them. Jaehnert said she heard four gunshots.”
Photos taken at scene of two of the shooting victims Monday night:
— Lorena de la Cuesta (@LorenadlaCuesta) November 24, 2015
However a video later surfaced on YouTube of two Black male protesters describing how the Black Lives Matter protesters started the conflict by punching and chasing the men simply because they were recording video of the protest.
The eyewitnesses said the men were attacked and retreated several times–and made a signal to indicate they were armed–before firing on the attacking protesters.
(Warning on language)
A snippet of the video taken before the shooting appears to show the crowd surrounding the men. The person recording the video is ordered to stop filming and complies. The video picks up after the shooting.
The two witnesses describe how the three men were confronted by the crowd for wearing masks and filming the protest. The men refused demands to remove their masks. (Note: the two witnesses in the video masked their faces also.)
One witness says a protester then punched one of the three men. The man then reached for what the protester assumed was a gun as the three men retreated. Apparently no gun was displayed at that point.
The witnesses say the protesters pursued and caught with the three men, punching them again. The men made gestures as if reaching for their guns but apparently did not brandish them at that point.
The three men again retreated and were again pursued by the protesters. The witnesses say they warned their fellow protesters the men were armed and to stop chasing them. The witnesses say they stopped but the others ran after the men and they soon heard gunfire.