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James Clark

Man killed in police shooting tried to escape troubled past

The troubled past that Jamar Clark struggled for years to escape now hangs over the investigation into his death at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer.

Family members and friends say the 24-year-old was on the right track in the months leading up to the shooting early Sunday. He cared deeply about his parents — biological and adoptive — and his 14 siblings, and had a job and hopes of going to college.

But police union representatives point to Clark's criminal history as proof that he was a bad actor, and they contend he was reaching for an officer's gun when he was shot. Beyond the domestic assault call alleging Clark had hurt his girlfriend that brought...