City of Minneapolis releases officer body camera video of Thurman Blevins shooting

- The Minneapolis Police Department released the officer body camera videos of the Thurman Blevins shooting Sunday night. 

The videos from the body-worn cameras of Officer Justin Schmidt and Officer Ryan Kelly show the shooting death of Blevins on June 23 in north Minneapolis. The footage appears to show the officers chasing Blevins before shooting and killing him. The videos also show Blevins was carrying a firearm at the time of his death. 

Three videos of the shooting were released. Two of the videos are the raw footage from the body worn cameras. The third video is a stabilized and analyzed video produced by the National Center for Audio and Video Forensics in Beverly Hills, California at the request of the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension and provided to the City of Minneapolis by the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office. According to the MPD, "the National Center for Audio and Video Forensics ran this video through a stabilizing and analysis process. The stabilized and analyzed video includes footage from both MPD officers Justin Schmidt and Ryan Kelly. The stabilizing software identifies pixels from each frame and aligns them to help limit the shake that can occur without altering the content."

In a Sunday evening press conference, Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey called the video "traumatic" and said the Blevins family had viewed the video Sunday. Frey said the video was released in the interest of "transparency." 

Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo released a statement Sunday night, saying the Minneapolis Police Department is "unable to publicly comment on any facet of this incident." Arradondo said he will be able to speak about the case once the criminal and internal investigation has concluded. 

"This evening Chief Arradondo, at the direction of Mayor Jacob Frey, released the body worn camera video obtained in the June 23rd, 2018 Officer Involved Shooting. As this case still remains an active criminal investigation, the Minneapolis Police Department is unable to publicly comment on any facet of this incident," the MPD statement said. "While Chief Arradondo is currently prohibited by data practice law from commenting on the specifics of this case he will continue to remain engaged, active and listen throughout the community. After completion of the criminal and internal investigation, Chief Arradondo will be able to speak about the case. We thank you for your continued patience in this matter."

Protest planned

According to the Justice for Thurman Blevins Facebook page, a protest is planned for Tuesday at 4:30 p.m. at the Hennepin County Government Center. 

The shooting

According to the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Investigation, Thurman Blevins was sitting on a curb and immediately fled when officers pulled up. Police reported he was carrying a gun at the time. 

Sometime during the ensuing chase officers fired their weapons, striking and killing the man community members later identified as Thurman Blevins. The chase lasted for several blocks and Blevins was pronounced dead at the scene.

According to authorities, the incident began when an anonymous caller reported a man was walking around with a gun on the 4700 block of Bryant Avenue North. The caller "provided very detailed information about the appearance and descriptions," according to an MPD spokesperson.

Police then received a second call of a person walking and firing a silver 9mm handgun into the air and subsequently into the ground.

Blevins was reportedly sitting with another woman near the intersection of 48th and Camden Avenues North a short time later when officers arrived, and ran away as they began exiting their vehicles. 

Both officers involved in the incident have been placed on standard administrative leave. The shooting remains under investigation.

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