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Minnesota Governor Calls for Federal Review of Police Actions

by Phil Helsel /  / Updated 

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The governor of Minnesota has asked the Justice Department to investigate whether any police actions in Minneapolis during protests over the death of an unarmed black man violated anyone’s civil rights.

Gov. Mark Dayton did not specify any actions, but police used pepper spray on a crowd Wednesday after bricks, rocks and bottles were thrown at officers Wednesday.

There have been protests in the city after Jamar Clark, 24, was shot in the head and killed during an arrest Sunday night.

Minneapolis Police Chief Janee Harteau said Saturday that any investigation "will only confirm the strength of the work my officers did protecting both public safety and the freedom of speech."

Related: Protesters, City Leaders Urge Calm in Minneapolis

Dayton said in a statement Saturday that he met with Clark’s family and with members of the Black Lives Matter movement.

Federal authorities are investigating whether the death of Clark broke any federal laws. On Friday, the FBI and U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Minnesota said in a statement that the release of any evidence, including video, would be “extremely detrimental” to that probe.

Dayton on Saturday said he urged any video to be released “as soon as doing so will not jeopardize the Department of Justice’s investigation."

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