Minneapolis police arrest two in shooting of Black Lives Matter protesters

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Two Men Arrested for Black Lives Matter Protest Shooting


MINNEAPOLIS, Nov 24 (Reuters) - Minneapolis police said on Tuesday they have arrested a 23-year-old white man and a 32-year-old Hispanic man over the shooting of five people near a city police station where demonstrators have gathered for more than a week to protest the killing of an unarmed black man by officers.

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The younger suspect was arrested around 11:20 a.m. CST (1720 GMT) in the Minneapolis suburb of Bloomington, while the older man was arrested in his vehicle about 45 minutes later in south Minneapolis, police said.

"As I said before, we are sparing no efforts to bring any and all those responsible to justice," Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges said after the second arrest. In an earlier statement, she said she abhorred the attack on the demonstrators.

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Minneapolis police arrest two in shooting of Black Lives Matter protesters
A protester in a sleeping bag gets some rest at the Black Lives Matter encampment, Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2015, outside the Minneapolis Police Department's Fourth Precinct in Minneapolis. The fatal shooting of Jamar Clark, an unarmed black man, by a Minneapolis police officer has pushed racial tensions in the city's small but concentrated minority community to the fore, with the police precinct besieged by the makeshift encampment and many protesters. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)
Black Lives Matter protesters and supporters march from the Minneapolis Police Department's Fourth Precinct to the Federal Building in Minneapolis, Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2015. The fatal shooting of Jamar Clark, a black man, by a Minneapolis police officer, has pushed racial tensions in the city's small but concentrated minority community to the fore, with the police precinct besieged by the makeshift encampment and many protesters. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)
Black Lives Matter demonstrators maintain their encampment, Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2015, outside the Minneapolis Police Department's 4th Precinct in Minneapolis. The fatal shooting of Jamar Clark, an unarmed black man, by a Minneapolis police officer has pushed racial tensions in the city's small but concentrated minority community to the fore, with the police precinct besieged by the makeshift encampment and many protesters. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)
A protester has some words with Minneapolis police officers on bikes as a Black Lives Matter protest continued, Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2015, at the Minneapolis Police Department's Fourth Precinct in Minneapolis. It was the fourth day of protests of the killing of 24-year-old Jamar Clark, an unarmed black man, by a Minneapolis police officer. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)
A Black Lives Matter supporter, left, tries to keep a Minneapolis police officer from removing a pallet at the BLM encampment at the Fourth Precinct, Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2015, in Minneapolis. It was the fourth day of protests of the killing of 24-year-old Jamar Clark, an unarmed black man, by a Minneapolis police officer. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)
Minneapolis police guard the entrance to the Fourth Precinct as Black Lives Matter supporters protest, Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2015, in Minneapolis. It was the fourth day of protests of the killing of 24-year-old Jamar Clark, an unarmed black man, by a Minneapolis police officer. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)
Jamar Clark's sister, Danielle Burns, right, grieves as she and other family members gathered during a news conference held by the Minneapolis Urban League, Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2015, in Minneapolis. Jamar Clark was shot and killed by a Minneapolis police officer during an apparent struggle with police on Sunday. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)
Black Lives Matter supporters hug after Minneapolis police poured water to extinguish an encampment fire as they continued their protest, Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2015, outside the Fourth Precinct in Minneapolis. It was the fourth day of protests of the killing of 24-year-old Jamar Clark, an unarmed black man, by a Minneapolis police officer. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)
Minneapolis police guard the entrance to the Fourth Precinct as Black Lives Matter supporters continued their protest, Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2015, in Minneapolis. It was the fourth day of protests of the killing of 24-year-old Jamar Clark, an unarmed black man, by a Minneapolis police officer. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)
Protesters with covered faces stand with a Black Lives Matter demonstration outside the Minneapolis Police Department's Fourth Precinct, Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2015, in Minneapolis.It was the fourth day of protests of the killing of 24-year-old Jamar Clark, an unarmed black man, by a Minneapolis police officer. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)
Jamar Clark's sister, Javille, center, accompanied by other family members, addresses a news conference held by the Minneapolis Urban League, Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2015, in Minneapolis. Jamar Clark was shot and killed by a Minneapolis police officer during an apparent struggle with police on Sunday. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)
Black Lives Matter supporters continued their protest, Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2015, outside the Minneapolis Police Department's Fourth Precinct in Minneapolis. It was the fourth day of protests of the killing of 24-year-old Jamar Clark, an unarmed black man, by a Minneapolis police officer. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)
A Minneapolis police officer stands guard atop a vehicle as Black Lives Matter supporters continued their protest, Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2015, at the Fourth Precinct in Minneapolis. It was the fourth day of protests of the killing of 24-year-old Jamar Clark, an unarmed black man, by a Minneapolis police officer. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)
Tiffany Burns, left, is comforted by her sister Javille Burns, as they listen during a news conference held by the Minneapolis Urban League, Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2015, in Minneapolis. Their brother, Jamar Clark, was shot and killed by a Minneapolis police officer during an apparent struggle. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)
A family member (in red) of Jamar Clark hands a tissue to Clark's sister Danielle Burns as family gathered during a news conference held by the Minneapolis Urban League, Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2015, in Minneapolis. Jamar Clark was shot and killed by a Minneapolis police officer during an apparent struggle with police on Sunday. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)
A Black Lives Matter supporter, left, talks to Minneapolis police guarding the Fourth Precinct entrance, Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2015, in Minneapolis. It was the fourth day of protests of the killing of 24-year-old Jamar Clark, an unarmed black man, by a Minneapolis police officer. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)
Hundreds of Black Lives Matter supporters continued their protest, Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2015, outside the Minneapolis Police Department's Fourth Precinct in Minneapolis. It was the fourth day of protests of the killing of 24-year-old Jamar Clark, an unarmed black man, by a Minneapolis police officer. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)
Jamine Clark points to the name of his brother, Jamar Clark, on an upside-down flag bearing names of people killed at the hands of police outside the Minneapolis Police Department's Fourth Precinct, Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2015, in Minneapolis. Black Lives Matter demonstrators have set up an encampment at the precinct which is near the site of the Sunday shooting of Jamar Clark by a Minneapolis police officer. Clark has been taken off life support. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)
Members of Black Lives Matter continue their encampment, Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2015, outside the Minneapolis Police Department's Fourth Precinct. More than 50 people were arrested during the second day of protests over the shooting of Jamar Clark by a police officer during an apparent struggle. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)
Members of Black Lives Matter continue their encampment, Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2015, outside the Minneapolis Police Department's Fourth Precinct. Protesters said they would continue the precinct sit-in until authorities release any video they have of the incident as well as the officer's identity. Clark has been removed from life support. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)
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Authorities said they will release the suspects' names after charges are filed and the search for additional suspects continues. Police declined to say whether they were looking for one or more additional suspects.

A spokesman said the Hennepin County Attorney's Office was aware of the arrests and was waiting for a case to be presented for consideration.

Police earlier said they were looking for three white male suspects in the shooting late on Monday. It occurred a block from the police station where protests have been held since the fatal Nov. 15 shooting of Jamar Clark, 24, Minneapolis police said in a statement.

None of the wounds in the Monday shooting were life-threatening, and the wounded were taken to hospitals.

Miski Noor, representing Black Lives Matter Minneapolis, said on Tuesday that four men wearing masks approached the site where demonstrators have been encamped protesting Clark's killing. When the masked men wouldn't identify themselves, they were escorted away but about half a block from there they opened fire on the demonstrators.

Kyle Loven, a spokesman for the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Minneapolis Division, said on Tuesday that the FBI was aware of the incident, was coordinating with the Minneapolis force and would determine whether federal action was appropriate.

He declined to say whether the FBI was investigating the shooting as a possible hate crime.

Clark's brother, Eddie Sutton, said in a statement that in light of the shootings, his family believed the demonstrations at the police station should end "out of imminent concern for the safety of the occupiers."

Hundreds of protesters marched in a Black Lives Matter rally on Tuesday afternoon from the police station toward city hall in downtown Minneapolis. Activists said the shooting has not shaken the group's resolve.

"We will not bow to fear or intimidation," Black Lives Matter's Noor said at the rally.

Pastor Danny Givens Jr. of Above Every Name Church said the demonstrators would not be scared away.

"We ain't going nowhere," he said, using a bullhorn. "This is our precinct.

"We ain't scared of domestic terrorists," added Givens, who is the clergy liaison for Black Lives Matter.

Questions have been raised as to whether Clark was handcuffed when he was shot, which police have denied. Protesters have demanded that authorities release videos of the Nov. 15 incident.

Clark died the next day from a gunshot wound to the head. The officers involved are on leave.

Earlier on Monday, Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton said he reviewed video footage taken from the back of an ambulance and said it does not appear to show conclusively what happened in Clark's shooting.

The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension is investigating Clark's shooting as is the FBI, which said the release of videos and other evidence would be detrimental to the investigation.

Hennepin County prosecutors will present the Clark shooting case to a grand jury for consideration of criminal charges when the investigation is complete, a spokesman said.

Authorities have said there was no video of the shooting from police dashboard or body cameras, but investigators are reviewing video from business and security cameras in the area, as well as witnesses' cellphones.

A police union representative has said Clark grabbed one officer's gun, although the weapon remained in its holster.

Clark's shooting comes at a time of heightened debate in the United States over police use of lethal force, especially against black people. Over the past year, protests against killings of unarmed black men and women - some videotaped with phones or police cameras - have rocked a number of U.S. cities. (Additional reporting by Brendan O'Brien in Milwaukee and Ben Klayman in Detroit; editing by Bill Rigby, G Crosse and Alan Crosby)

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