July 30, 2018 08:50 AM
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The city of Minneapolis has released the police body camera footage from the officer-involved fatal shooting of Thurman Blevins.
The videos released Sunday night show Officers Justin Schmidt and Ryan Kelly chasing Blevins on foot June 23.
The video footage can be seen on the city's website:
Schmidt and 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.
Blevins' cousin, Sydnee Brown, who has been a spokesperson for the family said the family saw the video an hour before it was released.
Brown said the family is demanding justice for Blevins.
"Officers Ryan Kelly and Justin Schmidt should be fired without pay and prosecuted to the full extent of the law," Brown said.
Brown also asked for media to give the family privacy, so they can mourn.
Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey spoke to the media following the release of the videos.
"Regardless of how our own life experiences and backgrounds have formed conclusions we draw, let us all recognize one truth: A life was lost and that in and of itself is tragic," Frey said.
Frey said he decided to release the video because he believes transparency is, "a necessity in good governance."
"Although in the past video footage has not been released for some time ... we felt the community wanted to see the evidence," Frey said.
A statement from the Minneapolis Police Department said department officials are unable to comment about the release of the video due to the fact the case remains an active investigation.
"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," the statement said.
Schmidt's attorney, Kevin Short, issued the following statement after the video's release: "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."
The attorney representing Kelly, Bob Paule, declined to comment.
According to the BCA, Blevins had a gun when he was shot by officers on June 23. However, investigators have not said exactly why the officers opened fire.
A 911 caller told police dispatchers a man who appeared intoxicated was firing a gun into the air, according to a transcript released by police.
According to the BCA, when officers arrived, they found Blevins and a woman family members said was his girlfriend sitting on the curb near the 48th and Camden intersection. As officers approached him, Blevins ran off and the BCA said he was carrying a silver and black gun.
After pursuing him for several blocks, both officers fired their guns. Blevins was pronounced dead at the scene. The BCA identified the officers involved as Schmidt and Kelly.
Frey said he planned to release the footage by the end of July.
Following the death of Blevins, protesters called for the release of the body camera footage.
Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman said "no comment" when KSTP reached out about the video's release.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Ben Rodgers and Anthony Brousseau
Updated: July 30, 2018 08:50 AM
Created: July 29, 2018 07:59 PM
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