Minneapolis officers will face no charges in black man's death

Minneapolis officers will face no charges in black man's death

Minneapolis officers will face no charges in black man's death

A United States prosecutor announced on Monday (Tuesday NZ Time) that two Minneapolis police officers won't be charged in last month's fatal shooting of a black man.

"When Mr. Blevins fled from the officers with a loaded handgun, refused to follow their commands for him to stop and show his hands and then took the gun out of his pocket and turned toward the officers, Mr. Blevins represented a danger to the lives of Officer Schmidt and Officer Kelly", Freeman said in the statement.

After mounting pressure from the Blevins family, community members, and all 13 city council members who called for the immediate release of the video, Frey last week said that the footage would likely be released by the end of July.

Freeman scheduled his press conference for 10:30 a.m. Monday, one day after body camera video from the officers was released to the public.

The videos released Sunday night show Officers Justin Schmidt and Ryan Kelly chasing 31-year-old Blevins on foot June 23. The cruiser stops and one of them says "he's got a gun".

"Stop, stop! Put your hands up! I will f-ing shoot you!" "It certainly seems to be the case but what we have is the spent cartridge, we know it came from that gun, the video shows him turning to the left, with the gun in his right hand, and Officer Kelly believed he shot him, shot at him, and that he saw the gun pointing at him".

The officers chased Blevins yelling, "I will f****** shoot you!" The chase lasted for several blocks and Blevins was pronounced dead at the scene. Officer Schmidt told Officer Kelly, "He's got a gun", a moment before the two officers exited the auto.

Watson said she heard Blevins yell "don't shoot!"

The shooting was investigated by the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension.

But, Freeman said, one of the officers returned fire because he thought Blevins had fired at them. A longer statement put out by the county attorney's office stated that witness testimony, body camera footage and forensic testing proved that Blevins had a gun in his hand. WCCO has chosen not to include the fatal shots in the video.

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Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey spoke to the media following the release of the videos.

Some critics pointed out that the police officers immediately escalated the situation upon arriving on the scene. "We do not have the jurisdiction or the authority to discipline police officers who act in a manner which we dislike", he said.

Mr Blevins' death prompted earlier demonstrations, and community advocates demanded transparency and urged the swift release of body camera footage.

"So there was no question that he fired the gun", Freeman said.

"It's murder! It's murder!" yelled Blevins' cousin Sydnee Brown. A post-mortem examination showed Mr Blevins was shot multiple times.

The videos released Sunday by the city included raw footage from both officers' cameras, as well as what it called a "stabilized" video that includes footage from both officers produced by the National Center for Audio and Video Forensics in Beverly Hills, California. Arradondo said he will be able to speak about the case once the criminal and internal investigation has concluded.

"I haven't done nothing, bro", Blevins says. Officials said that footage had gone through a process to identify pixels from each frame and aligned them to help limit shaking.

Retired Minneapolis police officer Michael Quinn spent 23 years with the department, including time leading the department's training academy.

The shooting was the latest involving an African-American by a white police officer, a string of cases that has fuelled outrage across the United States and given rise to the Black Lives Matter protest movement.

Stinson's research finds that the vast majority of officers nationwide are not charged, due to the high legal standard that gives officers wide discretion to use deadly force.

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