Minneapolis officials added fuel to the fire of outrage sweeping through the city after clearing the cops who killed Thurman Blevins.
Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman announced Monday (June 30) that there will be no charges against the two officers who gunned down Blevins on June 23 during a foot chase that ended in an alley, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported.
This comes one day after officials released graphic police bodycam video that purports to show that Blevins was armed and took a shot at police as he fled while asking them not to shoot. The video sparked anger protests.
“The family is hurt. The family is devastated. We knew everything was going to play out exactly the way it played out. We were prepared,” Blevins’ cousin Sydnee Brown said after protesters interrupted Freeman’s news conference.
“I don’t want the media and the world to think we’re angry. We’re not angry. We’re more so disgusted,” Brown continued.
Officers Justin Schmidt and Ryan Kelly were responding to a 911 call about a man firing a gun into the air. Blevins was sitting on a curb near a woman with a child in a stroller when they arrived. As soon as they pulled up, one of the cops yelled, “He’s got a gun,” and Blevins ran away. During the chase, Blevins screamed, “I didn’t do nothing bro,” ”Please don’t shoot” and “Leave me alone.”
The officers fired 14 shots, and four of them struck 31-year-old Blevins.
Freeman underscored that by refusing to drop the gun, Blevins put the officers’ lives in danger. “Their decision to use deadly force against Mr. Blevins under those circumstances was authorized [under the law],” he added.
Activists had a different take on what the video showed. “The audio concluded these officers never looked at Thurman as a regular human being but a (mother f******),” a Facebook post from Justice For Thurman Blevins Jr. said. “Thurman posed no threat to be viciously gun downed.”