Tempers Flare at Meeting About Thurman Blevins Shooting with BCA Official

July 12, 2018 10:24 PM

Emotions were at a boiling point at a community meeting in North Minneapolis Thursday night that centered on the officer-involved shooting death of Thurman Blevins.

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It was supposed to be a meeting where the head of Minnesota's Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, the agency investigating the case, was going to speak, but that did not happen.

RELATED: Full Coverage of Thurman Blevins Shooting

Members of Blevins' family overtook the meeting, which led to its abrupt end before BCA Superintendent Drew Evans spoke more than a word or two to the crowd.

There were several dozen people packed into a small community room at Webber Park for the roundtable.

RELATED: Thurman Blevins' Relative Says She Doesn't Want to See Body Camera Footage

"It's a lot about healing, it's a lot about coming together. We understand people make mistakes, but we don't know what happened until we see the video,” said V.J. Smith, president of MAD DADS of Minneapolis.  

Organizers said they hoped the meeting would bring healing and some understanding surrounding the officer-involved shooting last month.

RELATED: Family of North Minneapolis Man Fatally Shot Speaks Out

Blevins was shot to death by two Minneapolis police officers -- what exactly happened in those final few seconds before the shooting hasn't been released.

Some members of Blevins' family and friends stopped the meeting, upset it was being held. Voices were raised, leading to the roundtable abruptly ending.

"You used my brother's death, in some way in vain and that's not OK. As a community, I'm disappointed in the leadership because it should not have gone down like that,” said Blevins’ sister, who came up from Florida.

RELATED: Blevins Family Members Strongly Question Officers' Actions in Fatal Shooting

The BCA had planned to discuss their process for investigating officer-involved shootings; they provided a hand-out for those in attendance that included news releases about this case.

"If people don't know the process then they can't actually engage and talk about what needs to be changed in the process to make it serve the community better," said Justin Terrell, the executive director for the Council for Minnesotans of African Heritage.

In previous officer-involved shootings that the BCA has handled in the state, there hasn't been a community meeting scheduled while an investigation was still active.

Credits

Eric Chaloux

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