Bodycam video released over fatal police shooting of black man
Thurman Blevins suffered multiple gunshot wounds after he ran from two police officers.
Minneapolis authorities have released body camera video from two police officers which shows the fatal shooting of a 31-year-old black man.
The footage shows the man being shot from behind after a foot chase and what appeared to be a gun in the man’s hand.
Officers Justin Schmidt and Ryan Kelly were responding to a 911 call of a man firing a gun into the air on the city’s north side on June 23.
The video released on Sunday shows them pulling their cruiser up and a man – Thurman Blevins – seated on a kerb near a woman with a child in a stroller.
As the officers pull up, one says: “He’s got a gun!”
Mr Blevins jumps up and runs, as the officers shout at him to stop, with one of them threatening to open fire.
In a chase that takes less than a minute, Mr Blevins shouts back: “I didn’t do nothing bro”, “Please don’t shoot”, and: “Leave me alone”.
An enhanced version of the video has a red circle drawn around Mr Blevins’ hand to highlight what appears to be a gun.
After the chase turns down an alley, Mr Blevins is shot, while still running.
Investigators said Officers Kelly and Schmidt both fired their weapons. A post-mortem examination showed Mr Blevins was shot multiple times.
Authorities said the officers arrived to find Mr Blevins sitting with a woman on a kerb before he ran, while carrying a black and silver gun.
A gun was recovered at the scene.
Some witnesses had disputed the claim that Mr Blevins was armed, saying he was carrying a bottle or a cup. He appeared to have something in each hand when he first ran.
Sydnee Brown, a cousin of Mr Blevins, told the Star Tribune that the video confirms her belief that he was not a threat to police.
She said: “He didn’t deserve to die. He wasn’t a threat when (the officers) approached him. They didn’t view him as a human being.”
The two officers are on paid administrative leave. A protest over Mr Blevins’ death has been planned for Tuesday afternoon at the Hennepin County Government Centre.
Mr Blevins’ death prompted earlier demonstrations, and community advocates demanded transparency and urged the swift release of body camera footage.