MINNEAPOLIS (FOX 9) - Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman announced Thursday that two Minneapolis officers will not be charged in the shooting death of a 36-year-old man Nov. 9.
Officers Ryan Keyes and Neal Walsh fired eight shots at Travis Jordan, who was moving toward the officers with a 13.5-inch knife. Freeman's office said he refused repeated orders to drop the weapon.
The shots fired were prompted by a “super aggressive step” Jordan took toward the officers during the incident. The body camera footage was released Thursday as well. It shows Officer Keyes' and Officer Walsh's angles of the incident.
The BCA’s investigation into the incident showed Jordan’s girlfriend told dispatchers that Jordan was threatening suicide at his home on Morgan Avenue North. She had spoken to Jordan on the phone a few minutes earlier and he said he wanted to die.
The two officers were sent to the house and knocked on the door, receiving no response.
One of the officers went to talk to a neighbor while the other walked around to the back of the house and spotted Jordan in the kitchen. He knocked on the door and told Jordan to go to the front door, which he did not.
Jordan was seen on the phone during his time in the house. The investigation showed Jordan said some expletives to the officers.
When in front of the home again, officers heard Jordan yelling, including when he said, “Let’s do this.” It was after this that he walked outside, continuing to say, “Let’s do this.”
Both officers told him to drop the knife he had in his hand and to stay inside. He ignored commands and continued forward saying, “I don’t want to do this.”
Jordan reached the street curb and took a “super aggressive step” toward the officer and they both fired their weapons.
Officers handcuffed him and provided first aid. Jordan was taken to Hennepin County Medical Center where he died.
The BCA’s investigation showed the officers and Jordan were separated by only 12 feet when the shot was fired.
“The evidence shows that at the time he was shot, Mr. Jordan was wielding a large knife, refused numerous commands to drop the knife, refused commands not to come out of the house or approach the officers and, instead, presented the officers with a deadly threat,” according to a new release.
Freeman said Officers Walsh and Keyes’ use of deadly force was "objectively reasonable in the face of the danger of death or great bodily harm."
STATEMENT FROM MINNEAPOLIS POLICE CHIEF ARRADONDO
I want to first extend my condolences to Mr. Travis Jordan’s family and friends.
I also want to acknowledge the impact that this occurrence has had on our two involved officers and their families. These two officers who took an oath to serve their community would never have wanted this outcome to be a part of their duties on that day. During their interaction they displayed professionalism in their communications and actions with Mr. Jordan, including immediately rendering first aid to him after he received his injuries.
A situation such as this is certainly devastating and sad to the family of the deceased, families of the involved officers and our community as a whole.
I appreciate and thank the Offices of Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman and its investigative team as well as the Minnesota Department of Public Safety Commissioner Mona Dohman and Superintendent Drew Evans for the BCA’s important and critical investigative work. I also want to thank Mayor Frey for his continued leadership and commitment to working towards solutions that address the challenges surrounding mental health issues and trauma resources in our city.
As Chief of the Minneapolis Police Department I recognize that our men and women are being called upon to respond to many issues within our city that have been a part of our society for generations. Last year alone Minneapolis police officers responded to several thousand 911 calls involving community members experiencing a mental health crisis. Trauma is real and prevalent on many of the calls MPD officers respond to in the course of their shift. I will continue to ensure the MPD receives the best in Crisis Intervention Training (CIT) and De-Escalation Training from a trauma informed lens. I will also continue to advocate strongly for more 24/7 community based mental health services throughout our city.
Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey also released a statement on the release of the body camera footage.
My deepest condolences go out to Travis Jordan’s family and friends.
We must keep in mind that his life meant far more than the final moments captured on the tape released today.
It is clear that we as a society are consistently falling short for those with mental health illnesses.
And it is clear we are asking law enforcement officers to accept responsibilities that go beyond patrolling a beat.
To honor Travis Jordan’s memory and respect his family, we mourn a life cut short – a life that brought great love to family, friends, and community.
To respect the dignity of the officers who responded to the call, we appreciate the difficulty inherent in the work they do in service to city of Minneapolis.
And to the community aching today: we can and we will emerge stronger in the days ahead.