The Minneapolis police has said the man was trying to unarm police the they shot the man dead.
Protesters have maintained that Jamar Clark, 24, was restrained by police when they shot him on Sunday.
Clark was placed on life support and died a day later.
The shooting has led to protests in the mid-western city, with police and demonstrators using irritant spray against each other on Wednesday night.
Police say that Clark was the suspect in an assault case and was interfering with medics who were working on the assault victim when he was shot.
Lt Bob Kroll, the head of the Police Officers Federation of Minneapolis told the Associated Press news agency: “Cuffs were never on.”