Protests to continue despite video showing Blevins pull out a gun as police shouted “Stop, stop! Put your hands up! I will (expletive) shoot you!”
The Minneapolis police released videos of the shooting of Thurman Blevins, 31, after people insisted the man didn’t have a gun in his hands.
The video shows the police chasing Blevins with what looks like a gun in his hand.
A 911 call came in on June 23 “of a man firing a gun into the air on the city’s north side.” Officers Justin Schmidt and Ryan Kelly responded to the call. From CBS News:
Officers Justin Schmidt and Ryan Kelly were responding to a 911 call of a man firing a gun into the air on the city’s north side June 23. The video shows them pulling their cruiser up and a man — Blevins — seated on a curb near a woman with a child in a stroller. As the officers pull up, one says, “He’s got a gun!” Blevins jumps up and runs, as the officers yell “Stop, stop! Put your hands up! I will (expletive) shoot you!”
In a chase that takes less than a minute, Blevins yells back, “I didn’t do nothing bro,” ”Please don’t shoot” and “Leave me alone.” An enhanced version of the video has a red circle drawn around Blevins’ hand to highlight what appears to be a gun.
After the chase turns down an alley, Blevins is shot, still running.
The Minneapolis Police Department released three videos in connection to the shooting:
The raw video footage is the body worn camera video that comes straight from the body worn camera. It contains movement and provides a lower level of clarity. This video is from the MPD and has not been altered in any way.
The stabilized and analyzed video was not produced by the MPD. It was produced by the National Center for Audio & Video Forensics in Beverly Hills, California, as contracted by the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA), and provided to the City of Minneapolis by the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office. The National Center for Audio & Video Forensics ran this video through a stabilizing and analysis process. The stabilized and analyzed video includes footage from both MPD officers Justin Schmidt and Ryan Kelly. The stabilizing software identifies pixels from each frame and aligns them to help limit the “shake” that can occur without altering the content.
Usually “investigative date” in Minnesota does not come out to the public until the investigation ends, but the “state laws allow for the release of material like body camera footage if it’s deemed a benefit to the public or if it dispels ‘widespread rumor or unrest.'”
Fox9 published this statement from the police chief:
Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo released a statement Sunday night, saying the Minneapolis Police Department is “unable to publicly comment on any facet of this incident.” Arradondo said he will be able to speak about the case once the criminal and internal investigation has concluded.
“This evening Chief Arradondo, at the direction of Mayor Jacob Frey, released the body worn camera video obtained in the June 23rd, 2018 Officer Involved Shooting. As this case still remains an active criminal investigation, the Minneapolis Police Department is unable to publicly comment on any facet of this incident,” the MPD statement said. “While Chief Arradondo is currently prohibited by data practice law from commenting on the specifics of this case he will continue to remain engaged, active and listen throughout the community. After completion of the criminal and internal investigation, Chief Arradondo will be able to speak about the case. We thank you for your continued patience in this matter.”
Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey did not comment on the video, but called the death “tragic.” Blevins’ cousin Sydnee Brown “continued calls for Kelly and Schmidt to be charged in the shooting after seeing the video.”
Kevin Short, the lawyer for Schmidt, applauded the release of the videos: “The video shows Thurman Blevins fired one shot at officers. It’s gratifying to know the actions of the officers were justified. Hopefully the public learned a lesson to wait for all the facts and video to come out before vilifying officers.”DONATE
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