No Charges Against Minneapolis Cops in Fatal Shooting

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Hennepin County, Mn., prosecutor Mike Freeman will not file charges against the two Minneapolis police officers who fatally shot Thurman Blevins earlier this summer, the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports. He announced the decision after the release of police body-camera footage that appears to show Blevins, 31, held a gun as he was shot by Minneapolis officers on June 23. Family and friends of Blevins interrupted Freeman’s news conference Monday, saying they’re “devastated” and calling Blevins’ death “murder.” Freeman said that when 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, [he] presented a danger to the lives of Officer Schmidt and Officer Kelly and members of the community.”

Sydnee Brown, a first cousin of Blevins, said, “I don’t want the media and the world to think that we are angry … [We’re] disgusted. At the end of the day, we want the cops arrested.” The footage from body cameras on officers Ryan Kelly and Justin Schmidt shows they ordered Blevins to drop the gun and warned him that they would shoot before firing. What appears to be a handgun drops to the ground when Blevins falls. “The decision to use deadly force against Mr. Blevins under those circumstances was authorized,” said Freeman. The officers were responding to a 911 call of a man firing a gun into the air. The video shows them pulling up their cruiser and 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!”

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