Minneapolis police were involved in the death of a suspect for the first time since the May 25 death of George Floyd touched off Black Lives Matter protests, reports USA Today.
Police Chief Medaria Arradondo said a fatal shooting Wednesday evening during a traffic stop occurred less than a mile from where Floyd died.
“Initial witness statements indicate the suspect involved in this felony stop fired first,” Arradondo said. The officers “then exchanged gunfire with the suspect.”
The suspect was pronounced dead at the scene. No officers were wounded and a female passenger was also unhurt, Arradondo said. Bodycam video of the incident will be released Thursday.
After the shooting, a crowd of about 100 protesters congregated near the scene and at times grew tense, shouting expletives and throwing snowballs at police, reported the Minneapolis Star Tribune.
Arradondo said he had been reaching out to community and religious leaders.
He said, “We want to do everything we can to protect everyone’s First Amendment rights, to freely assemble, demonstrate, but … we cannot allow for destructive criminal behavior. Our city has gone through too much.”
Echoing Arradondo, Mayor Jacob Frey promised “complete transparency”
“Events of this past year have marked some of the darkest days in our city,” he said in a prepared statement.
“We know a life has been cut short and that trust between communities of color and law enforcement is fragile. Rebuilding that trust will depend on complete transparency. … We must all be committed to getting the facts, pursuing justice, and keeping the peace.”
Floyd died after police officer Derek Chauvin pressed his knee against Floyd’s neck for more than eight minutes while Floyd said he couldn’t breathe.
Chauvin faces second-degree unintentional murder and manslaughter charges. Three officers present when Floyd died — J. Alexander Kueng, Tou Thao and Thomas Lane — are charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and manslaughter. They are scheduled to stand trial together in March.