Protesters demand justice following police-involved shooting of Thurman Blevins
MINNEAPOLIS (KMSP) - Approximately 100 people protested outside the Minneapolis Police Department’s fourth precinct Sunday evening, demanding the two officers involved in the deadly shooting of Thurman Blevins, a 31-year-old man, be fired.
Blevins’ family said they won’t sit back and let the process unfold. Activists across the metro have joined the family in the protests. Many have vowed to keep the protests going—whether it’s at the 4th precinct where the officers work, or in other parts of the city.
“We will not sit down on this one—we will not let up like we let up on Jamar,” said protester Toya Woodland.
One week after the 31-year-old father of three was killed, protesters gathered just blocks away from he was shot in the Camden neighborhood.
“This man has children out here, he’s a father, he’s a man, he could have been your next door neighbor,” said Blevins’ cousin, Melinda Blevins.
Protests have been happening since he was shot by police officers Justin Schmidt and Ryan Kelly. There was at least one 911 call about Blevins firing a gun into the air.
State investigators said Blevins had a gun and ran away when officers arrived on the scene. Blevins was shot dead in an alley.
“Release the body camera footage and let’s get things moving here because I’m tired of playing,” said Darlynn Blevins.
Body camera footage of the deadly encounter exists, but there has been confusion about when it will be released to the public. Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey said it will be released once the family sees it and after key witnesses are interviewed, but the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension said it could take weeks for the evidence to be analyzed.
Meanwhile, protesters are demanding officers Schmidt and Kelly be fired. They also want the city to pay for funeral expenses.