Published: Wed, August 01, 2018
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Activists block trains, protest Minneapolis police shooting

Activists block trains, protest Minneapolis police shooting

No charges are expected to be filed against the officers involved in a fatal police shooting in Minneapolis, according to a statement from the county attorney. Freeman said the officers' actions were justified because Blevins was armed, disregarded police instructions and pointed a gun at them.

Freeman's decision came after the officers' body-camera video was released late on Sunday night (Monday NZT) by the city. Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman announced the decision Monday morning at a news conference that was interrupted by protests.

Mr Freeman said Mr Blevins turned toward the officers with the gun in his hand before he was shot on June 23.

The video released Sunday shows the officers them pulling their cruiser up and Blevins seated on a curb near a woman with a child in a stroller.

"You've got a gun", Schmidt says in response. The officers chase Blevins and shout at him to put his hands up or they will shoot. He ran away and ignored several more orders to and put his hands up. "I can not tell you that there is sufficient proof that he, in fact, lined it up and shot at the officers".

Moments before Blevins is fatally shot, he can be heard saying, "Please don't shoot me; leave me alone", before multiple shots ring out. The video was slowed down at various points when it appeared to show Blevins with a gun, including at the time he is shot.

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The officers chase Blevins for about two blocks through the neighborhood and then down an alley.

Officer Schmidt's body-cam shows Blevins drawing the gun, but it is not clear exactly when he fired.

"He just gave himself a license to shoot Mr. Blevins", Rohr said.

When he returned, the long-time Hennepin County Attorney told reporters that he was ready to announce his decision on whether officers Schmidt and Kelly would be criminally charged. "He didn't deserve to die", Brown said to the Star Tribune.

A statement from the Minneapolis Police Department said department officials are unable to comment about the release of the video due to the fact the case remains an active investigation. They insisted that Blevins was unarmed and said he was carrying a bottle, not a gun. The videos showed a bottle in Blevins' hand.

The choice to release the footage came from Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey, after pressure from citizens and all 13 members of the Minneapolis City Council.

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"We're exhausted of watching these snuff movies by the Minneapolis Police Department and we're exhausted of it", screamed John Thompson, a close friend of Philando Castile who was fatally shot by a St. Anthony Police officer in July of 2016. "We do not have the jurisdiction or the authority to discipline police officers who act in a manner which we dislike", he said.

Community members have been calling for the release of the body camera footage since Blevins' death. Kelly said he believed the gun was aimed directly at him, and he was "pretty sure" Blevins fired the weapon at him.

Sydnee Brown, Blevins' cousin, said Thurman Blevins "was not an evil man walking the earth".

"He's got his right hand on his gun and he's turning and looking over his left shoulder", Kelly says recalling the chase. Arradondo said he will be able to speak about the case once the criminal and internal investigation has concluded.

"I didn't do nothing, bro", Blevins says.

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

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Freeman was about 2 minutes into the news conference explaining the threshold for charging police officers before he was shouted down.

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