Hennepin County Attorney: Use of force in November OIS in Minneapolis was justified

January 03, 2019 10:18 PM

The Minneapolis police officers who fatally shot and killed Travis Jordan in November will not face criminal charges, according to a release from the Hennepin County Attorney's Office. 

In the release, Hennepin County Mike Freeman said the use of force by officers Ryan Keyes and Neal Walsh on Nov. 9 was justified. 

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"I express my heartfelt condolences to Mr. Jordan's family and to his girlfriend over his tragic death," Freeman said in a release. "However, in reviewing all of the evidence gathered by the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, including video from the officers' body cameras, it was clear, at that moment, Mr. Jordan presented a real danger to the officers. Under Minnesota law, they were justified in using deadly force."

According to the county attorney office's report, Jordan's girlfriend called police on the afternoon of Nov. 9, saying Jordan had threatened to commit suicide. 


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Officers Keyes and Walsh were sent to Jordan's home, which was located on the 3700 block of Morgan Avenue North. 

While the officers were standing in front of the house, one officer heard Jordan say "let's do this," according to the report. 

The report said Jordan stepped out onto the porch holding a knife. Keyes drew his gun and shouted for Jordan to drop the knife, according to the county attorney's office. 

The report said Jordan then walked out into the outer doorway, while both officers kept ordering Jordan to drop the knife. 

At one point, Jordan took a "super aggresive step" forward. That's when the officers fired their weapons, according to the report. The county attorney's office said at least three of Walsh's bullets struck Jordan. 

After Jordan was struck, the officers performed first aid. Jordan was taken to North Memorial Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead. 

Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo released a long statement following news of the county attorney's decision:

"I want to first extend my condolences to Mr. Travis Jordan's family and friends," it read.

"I also want to acknowledge the impact that this occurrence has had on our two involved officers and their families. These two officers who took an oath to serve their community would never have wanted this outcome to be a part of their duties on that day. During their interaction they displayed professionalism in their communications and actions with Mr. Jordan, including immediately rendering first aid to him after he received his injuries.

"A situation such as this is certainly devastating and sad to the family of the deceased, families of the involved officers and our community as a whole.

"I appreciate and thank the Offices of Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman and its investigative team as well as the Minnesota Department of Public Safety Commissioner Mona Dohman and Superintendent Drew Evans for the BCA's important and critical investigative work. I also want to thank Mayor Frey for his continued leadership and commitment to working towards solutions that address the challenges surrounding mental health issues and trauma resources in our city.  

"As Chief of the Minneapolis Police Department I recognize that our men and women are being called upon to respond to many issues within our city that have been a part of our society for generations. Last year alone Minneapolis police officers responded to several thousand 911 calls involving community members experiencing a mental health crisis. Trauma is real and prevalent on many of the calls MPD officers respond to in the course of their shift.

"I will continue to ensure the MPD receives the best in Crisis Intervention Training (CIT) and De-Escalation Training from a trauma informed lens. I will also continue to advocate strongly for more 24/7 community based mental health services throughout our city."  

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey also issued a statement on the matter Thursday afternoon:

"My deepest condolences go out to Travis Jordan's family and friends," it read.

"We must keep in mind that his life meant far more than the final moments captured on the tape released today.

"It is clear that we as a society are consistently falling short for those with mental health illnesses. 

"And it is clear we are asking law enforcement officers to accept responsibilities that go beyond patrolling a beat.  

"To honor Travis Jordan's memory and respect his family, we mourn a life cut short – a life that brought great love to family, friends, and community.

"To respect the dignity of the officers who responded to the call, we appreciate the difficulty inherent in the work they do in service to city of Minneapolis.

"And to the community aching today: we can and we will emerge stronger in the days ahead."
 

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