Video of gun-toting north Mpls man arguing with black man sparks racism allegations


Demetrius T says he was sitting in his vehicle with a friend negotiating a potential car purchase Sunday evening near the intersection of Sheridan Ave N. and N. 35th Ave. in Minneapolis when he noticed a man taking pictures of them.

With his camera phone rolling, Demetrius (he asked we not use his last name) decided to get out of the car, walk half a block down the street and investigate -- only to discover, as he drew close, that the picture-taking man had a gun in his hand.

"You just pulled a gun on me!" Demetrius, 29, can be heard saying in the video. "For no reason at all... that's crazy, that's crazy." (Watch the footage at the top of this post.)

An argument ensued, during which the gun-toting man justifies himself by saying, "We have a lot of drug dealing going on... no one is stereotyping."

But that explanation didn't satisfy Demetrius, who replied, "You racially profiled me."

"You saw two black guys having a conversation in the car and you started taking pictures," he added. "When you see me walking down this street, because I'm black, you got nervous and you pulled out your gun."

Reached for comment today, Demetrius says that when he noticed he was being photographed in the car, he decided to "confront him about the situation."

"That's why I had my video rolling," he continues. "I never knew he had a weapon. I wouldn't approach anybody who had a gun."

Demetrius says he called the cops after the footage ends. But officers told him that since the man was legally in possession of a gun on his own property, there was nothing to be done. (Demetrius acknowledges the man never actually pointed the gun at him.)

Demetrius, who lives in St. Paul but spent part of his childhood living in north Minneapolis (his mom still lives there), says he doesn't think the man would've been taking pictures in the first place if he and his friend weren't black.

"In my personal opinion, had I been Caucasian, had I been Mexican or Asian, he wouldn't be taking pictures," Demetrius says.

Demetrius says he never interacted with the man before Sunday, but has talked to some of his north Minneapolis neighbors since the video started going viral.

"Some neighbors said, 'That's what I would do,' some neighbors said, 'I think that was totally wrong,' some neighbors said, 'It's not the first time he's done this, he's done it before," he says.

A Minneapolis Police Department spokesman didn't immediately have more information about the incident.:::: UPDATE ::::

An MPD spokesman sent us the following statement about the incident:

On February 8, 2015 at approximately 5:45 pm, officers from the Minneapolis Police Department responded to the area of the 3600 block of Sheridan Avenue North. Officers responded to a report where both parties involved called 911.

Officers arrived and spoke with both parties involved. At that time, neither party was interested in making a report.

Officers mediated the dispute, believing that no crime had occurred, based on the information they had at that time.

As with any call, a report may be taken, or charges levied at a later date/time if further information is brought forward to the police department.

Today I called and spoke with [Demetrius], who took the video. [Demetrius] decided that he now wished to make a report, and will do so later tonight.

At this time, there is no further information available.
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