Updated: 2 Arrested For Shootings At Black Lives Matter Protest In Minneapolis
By Kate Shepherd in News on Nov 24, 2015 5:07PM
5 people were shot at the site of a Black Lives Matter protest in Minneapolis. via Getty Images
Police have arrested two men in connection with the shootings of five Black Lives Matter protestors in Minneapolis.
A 23-year-old white man was taken into custody in suburban Bloomington and a 32-year-old Hispanic man was arrested in south Minneapolis, according to the Tribune. Authorities are still looking for more suspects.
Five people were shot near the protest in Minneapolis over the recent fatal shooting of an unarmed black man by a cop late Monday night, the Minneapolis Police Department announced in a statement.
None of the victims had life-threatening injuries, according to authorities. Officers responded to calls about shootings at 14th and Morgan about 10:41 p.m., attended to the victims and secured the scene.
The shooting occurred only a block north of the MPD's 4th Precinct, which Black Lives Matter has been occupying since the death of Jamar Clark over a week ago, according to NPR.
Police were searching for three white male suspects in connection to last night's shootings, according to Minnesota Public Radio.
The suspects allegedly joined the demonstrators outside the precinct before the shooting started. The protestors say that they had formed a group to move people who had been causing problems away from the precinct and when they got about a block north, shots were fired.
Rumors are swirling that white supremacists are behind the shooting, as Black Lives Matter Minneapolis indicated in Facebook posts late last night and early this morning:
"I am obviously appalled that white supremacists would open fire on nonviolent, peaceful protesters," Nekima Levy-Pounds, president of the Minneapolis chapter of the NAACP, told the Minneapolis Star Tribune.
U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison, who has been joining the group for demonstrations, is not sure whether the shooters were white supremacists or not.
"I know there's a lot of speculation as to who these people were," he told MPR. "And they well could have been, I'm not trying to say they weren't white supremacists. But I just haven't been able to piece together enough information to say with any real clarity."
Black Lives Matters has vowed to not let the shooting intimidate them and will be holding a #Justice4Jamar march at 2 p.m. today:
Wear all black tomorrow. 2pm at the precinct. We will not be intimidated. #4thPrecinctShutDown— Black Lives MPLS (@BlackLivesMpls) November 24, 2015
Needs today: warm food, gloves/hats, folding chairs, hand warmers, and healers. #4thPrecinctShutDown please come down and support— Black Lives MPLS (@BlackLivesMpls) November 24, 2015
But many people are concerned about the group's safety following the shootings. Clark's brother, Eddie Sutton, thanked the protestors for their peaceful demonstrations but urged them to end the occupation of the 4th Precinct for their own security, he said in a statement on behalf of Clark's family.
"Out of imminent concern for the safety of the occupiers, we must get the occupation of the 4th precinct ended and onto the next step," he said, according to MPR.
Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton called the shootings a "cowardly, criminal act" and agreed with the Clark family's call to end the protests outside the precinct for ensure the group's safety.
"It underscores the vulnerability of peaceful citizens exercising their First Amendment rights," Dayton told MPR.