Witnesses Give Varied Accounts of Thurman Blevins Shooting

August 01, 2018 03:44 PM

The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension interviewed more than two dozen witnesses connected to the agency's investigation of the Thurman Blevins shooting.

Similar to most complex investigations, people who said they saw the encounter Minneapolis police had with Blevins gave different perspectives.


One witness told investigators he witnessed two Minneapolis police officers get out of their car as Blevins sat on a sidewalk corner.

RELATED: BCA Interviews Offer Officers' Accounts of Blevins Shooting

"The next thing I know the cop opens the door, and he didn't say anything to him, just immediately used his Taser," the witness said. "Immediately as soon as he opened the door."

Only one of the two officers had a Taser that night and testing later showed it had not been used by that officer.

Another witness told BCA investigators she saw Blevins sitting on the sidewalk with his girlfriend and a third individual.

"I looked over there and see the boy with the machete.  I am not paying attention to them drinking, because I am like 'What is he doing with that machete,'" the witness said. 

RELATED: Minneapolis Releases Police Body Camera Footage of Thurman Blevins Shooting

There might have been a person with a machete at the scene, but investigators could have thought the information was inaccurate or unrelated to the shooting.

Rachel Paulose, former U.S. Attorney for Minnesota, said it can be very difficult for investigators to sift through eyewitness accounts.

Paulose said accounts "can be very different because people see things and remember things differently from one another, even if they witnessed the same event."

Paulose said some people may lie to police about what they saw, but that most are trying to be helpful.

RELATED: GRAPHIC VIDEO: Full, Raw Body Camera Footage of Thurman Blevins Shooting

Paulose said the body camera footage is the best witness investigators had in the case because it is a window into what happened from the officers' point of view.

"This points out just how important body-worn cameras are in these cases and how it gives the public a clear examination of events without a lot of uncertainty," Paulose said.

You can see the entire BCA report by clicking HERE.



Jay Kolls

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