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Richfield leaders hear concerns from citizens regarding recent officer-involved shooting

Updated: September 11, 2019 06:14 AM

The circumstances and use of deadly force during an officer-involved shooting were the two main issues at a City Council meeting in Richfield Tuesday night.

At the meeting, city leaders said because there is an active investigation into the shooting, they were limited on what they could say. For the council members, it was more of a listening session.

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A number of people took to the podium during the meeting to address their concerns. 

Miguel Fol, a neurologist and professor with the University of Minnesota, asked why police couldn't have used resources for people who may be experiencing mental health issues. 

John Trepp, who works for NAMI Hennepin County, a mental health service agency, acknowledged that Richfield police don't ask to be on the frontline of the mental health system. 

"In a perfect world we would send trained mental health workers to deal with the situation," he said. "But that's not the system we have. We send officers to do this and as long as that's the case, they need better training." 

Robert Cerny, a Richfield resident, suggested police use less-lethal options during tense encounters. 

"Instead of using deadly force, police should have the option of bean bag rounds or less-lethal ammunition," he said.

During the meeting, Mayor Maria Regan Gonzalez asked the audience to take a moment of silence to empathize with everyone impacted by the officer-involved shooting that ended in the death of 30-year-old Brian Quinones.

"Our community is in profound pain," Gonzalez said. "Help us move through this in a way that will keep us united and make us stronger." 

Relatives have suggested that Quinones struggled with mental health issues. Quinones used Facebook to live stream the police pursuit of him Saturday.

A city spokesman said the names of the officers at the scene and video from their dash cameras will be released early next week. Three officers from Richfield are on paid leave, as well as two officers from Edina.

The feed streamed by Quinones did not show the shooting itself, but gunfire could be heard.

Police contend he was armed with a knife and confronted them at 77th Street and Chicago Avenue. 

Officials have confirmed that neither Edina nor Richfield police departments had purchased or implemented body cameras. At city hall, a spokesman for Richfield confirmed two officers are currently testing devices, however, they weren't at the shooting scene. 

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Beth McDonough

Copyright 2019 - KSTP-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

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