Moments after it was announced that police officers involved in the fatal shooting of 24-year-old Jamar Clark would not face federal charges, the president of the Minneapolis police union spoke out against the Black Lives Matter movement, calling it a “terrorist organization.”
Speaking at a press conference Wednesday, Lt. Bob Kroll criticized Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges and City Council members Alondra Cano, Cam Gordon and Lisa Bender, claiming that they added to a “dangerous and unproductive atmosphere” that contributed to the “disruption and takeover of the 4th Precinct” in the aftermath of the November shooting, WCCO reports.
“They let the process play out, and they were wrong,” Kroll said. “The officers’ actions were justified.”
On Nov. 15, 2015, police arrived on the scene after a call concerning a domestic assault to find Clark interfering with medical personnel. A struggle between Clark and the officers ensued when, police say, Clark reached for one officer’s weapon. Police say the officer’s partner told Clark to release the gun, to which Clark reportedly replied, “I’m ready to die.”’
Several witnesses say that the police account of the events is untrue, claiming that Clark was cuffed at the time of the shooting, USA Today reports. Federal investigations and analysis of DNA evidence, however, concluded that Clark was never cuffed.
“These conflicting witness accounts seriously undermine the degree to which they could be used to either disprove the officers’ accounts or to affirmatively establish that Clark was handcuffed,” the federal review determined, according to USA Today.
Kroll called the shooting “unfortunate and tragic” but added, “Jamar Clark dictated the circumstances that night.”
Kroll reserved his harshest criticisms for Black Lives Matter, which he described as a “terrorist organization.”
“I don’t see Black Lives Matter as a voice for the black community in Minneapolis,” he said. “The disruption, the, you know, they firebombed the precinct. There were shootings outside the precinct, hundreds of thousands of dollars [of damage] to the precinct and squad cars.”
Kroll added that Officers Mark Ringgenberg and Dustin Schwarze, and their families, were all victims of an “obtrusive” investigation—all because, he said, they went “to a 911 call and [were] doing their job.”
“It’s a happy day for them. The truth came out and they prevailed,” he said.