Minneapolis Police Won’t Face Charges For Killing Thurman Blevins
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The Minneapolis police officers who fatally shot Thurman Blevins, after warning him to put his hands up, will not be charged, authorities announced. Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman said Monday that there would be no charges against MPD officers Justin Schmidt and Ryan Kelly, CNN reports. Freeman concluded that the officers’ actions were justified because Blevins was armed, did not follow police commands and pointed a gun at them during the fatal encounter in June.
“When Mr. 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, Mr. Blevins represented a danger to the lives of Officer Schmidt and Officer Kelly,” Freeman said in a statement. “Their decision to use deadly force against Mr. Blevins, under those circumstances, was authorized [under the law].” The announcement came a day after the release of the body-cam video of the shooting appeared to show Blevins point a gun at the officers. Schmidt and Kelly were reportedly responding to a 9-1-1 call of a man firing a gun into the air. Footage from the body camera video shows Blevins take off running upon seeing the officers arrive, which they say forced them to pursue him. “Stop, stop! Put your hands up! I will (expletive) shoot you!” the officers can be heard shouting in the video clip. “I didn’t do nothing bro,” Blevins is heard responding, while running. ”Please don’t shoot.” Blevins, 31, was ultimately shot multiple times during the chase. Family members argue that Blevins was not a danger and did not deserve to be shot. They plan to call for the officers’ firing and arrest at a Tuesday afternoon protest in Minneapolis. Blevins death is the latest in a string of other high-profile, officer-involved shootings in Minneapolis in recent years, including those resulting in the deaths of Philando Castile in 2016 and Jamar Clark in 2015.