Attorneys for Jamar Clark family members confirm agreement on $200,000 settlement

Share story

People release balloons to honor Jamar Clark.
Family and community members prepare to release balloons to remember Jamar Clark on Nov. 15, 2016 in Minneapolis, a year after he was killed.
Sam Harper for MPR News 2016

Attorneys for the family of Jamar Clark say they've reached a tentative settlement with the city of Minneapolis in their wrongful death lawsuit. Clark was shot and killed by a police officer in 2015.

The attorneys say the parties reached a settlement amount of $200,000.

Attorney David Suro said members of the Clark family desired justice and they believe the deal falls short of that. He said the family wants the city to fire one of the officers involved in the shooting. They’d also like to see a community center named after Clark. But that's not included in the tentative agreement.

According to a court document filed Friday, Minneapolis City Attorney Susan Segal said “defense counsel learned from the media that Plaintiff was stating that a settlement had occurred” at a what she termed a mediation on Wednesday. Segal goes on to say it took until Friday to reach attorney William Starr to confirm the agreement.

Previous attempts to reach a settlement had failed. In May, talks broke down, at least in part because the city would not offer an amount that approached the $20 million payout the city agreed to in the shooting of Justine Ruszczyk, also known by the surname Damond, who was killed by an officer in 2017.

Previously Jamar Clark settlement talks end without agreement

Mohamed Noor, was convicted of murder and manslaughter in Ruszczyk's death on April 30. The officer who shot Clark, Dustin Schwarze, was not charged with a crime. Ruszczyk had called police for help and was unarmed when she was shot.

Schwarze was dropped from the Clark family’s lawsuit, but his partner, Mark Ringgenberg is still named because attorneys say he instigated the shooting of Clark.

Because Ruszczyk was white, and Clark was African-American, activists have said city leaders need to show that they value black lives as much as the lives of white people.

Related Ruszczyk case aside, Minneapolis police misconduct suits down

The Minneapolis city council still has to approve the tentative settlement, which could happen at an Aug. 23 meeting.

Before you go...

MPR News is dedicated to bringing you clarity in coverage from our reporters across the state, stories that connect us, and conversations that provide perspectives when we need it most. We rely on your help to do this. Your donation has the power to keep MPR News strong and accessible to all during this crisis and beyond.