To: Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman

No Grand Jury #Justice4Jamar

No Grand Jury #Justice4Jamar

We call on County Attorney Mike Freeman to appoint a special prosecutor from a county demographically similar to Hennepin County, and forego the grand jury process, for the officers who fatally shot 24-year-old Jamar Clark in north Minneapolis on November 15.

Why is this important?

Grand juries consistently fail to deliver justice in cases of fatal police shootings. In grand juries, prosecutors often rely on evidence gained solely from police. Moreover, the process is extremely secretive: the prosecutor and the grand jury members may not reveal what occurred in the grand jury room to the public, including any evidence or videos presented.

Since 2000, 142 Minnesotans have been killed by police. Grand juries have returned indictments in zero of these cases. In fact, no police officer in Minnesota has EVER been indicted for a fatal shooting. While Mike Freeman insists grand juries have been a part of Minnesota’s justice system for 35 years, this is exactly the reason to eliminate their use in cases of fatal police encounters. The criminal justice system has been purposefully failing people of color for centuries. It is time to change our approach.

Grand juries are neither effective nor required by law. California recently became the first state to ban grand juries in cases of deadly force by police. The governor of New York has appointed a special prosecutor for these cases. Recently, the city of Baltimore directly indicted police officers in the death of Freddie Gray without resorting to a grand jury process. A special prosecutor can and should decide whether to pursue charges directly, without obstructing justice via a grand jury.

Minneapolis, MN, United States

Reasons for signing

  • Because black lives matter. And FYI I'm white
  • A trial is the only way to learn the truth of what happened.
  • Having personally been insulted (for no reason) by a Minneapolis police officer and watched other officers beat up protesters (for no reason), I think the department needs more transparency and accountability.

Updates

2016-03-14 16:59:42 -0700

1,000 signatures reached

2016-03-09 12:14:31 -0800

500 signatures reached

2016-03-07 16:39:08 -0800

100 signatures reached

2016-03-05 08:49:12 -0800

50 signatures reached

2016-03-04 20:21:34 -0800

25 signatures reached

2016-03-04 15:58:43 -0800

10 signatures reached