Thurman Blevins' family demands charges and video, doesn't want to meet with BCA
MINNEAPOLIS (KMSP) - The family of Thurman Blevins gathered Monday morning outside of Minneapolis City Hall with community activist Mel Reeves to once again demand the release of bodycam video and criminal charges against the police officers who shot and killed the 31-year-old known as “June” to his loved ones.
Blevins, 31, was shot and killed by police in a north Minneapolis alley on the evening of June 23. Authorities have said that someone called 9-1-1 to report a man shooting off a gun in the air and into the ground. Police responded to the area, a foot chase ensued and Blevins was shot multiple times and killed.
In addition to criminal charges against Officers Ryan Kelly and Justin Schmidt, the Blevins family is demanding to see the entirety of the law enforcement response captured on police body cameras.
“When he was approached, guns were drawn, police didn’t care he was there with a child,” said Thurman’s sister, Darlynn Blevins. “Police didn’t care he was there with his girlfriend. At that time, when approached with guns drawn, he was scared. He did what he did. He ran. Who said it was a crime to run?”
“These officers should’ve known proper procedure,” said Blevins’ cousin, Sydnee Brown. “And known proper procedure to approach my cousin and get him into handcuffs. He would’ve had no problem taking on the consequences of the actions that led up to officers arriving. It didn’t need to lead to the murder of my cousin.”
Brown said Blevins had no chance of coming out of his encounter with police alive, insisting he would have taken consequences for his actions that night "if he were handcuffed."
The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension is investigating the police shooting..
Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey has said he will release body camera footage just as soon as the BCA finishes with witness interviews. The timeline for that remains unclear.
In the meantime, the family and community activists are planning a Wednesday meeting to gather information and plot out the next steps in their fight for justice. The Blevins family said it has no desire to meet with law enforcement or the BCA, saying, "there is nothing to talk about."