By: K. Walker
ClashDaily Associate Editor
This is why law enforcement officers now wear body cameras.
The June 23 death of 31-year old Thurman Blevins has sparked outrage in Minneapolis and led to protests in the city.
The family claims that Blevins was unarmed and posed no threat to anyone but was shot in the back by police as he was running away.
Both officers are on paid administrative leave pending an investigation.
Minneapolis police released two bodycam videos as well as a third video revealing what really happened.
On June 23, Officers Ryan Kelly and Justin Schmidt were responding to a report of someone firing shots into the air and then into the ground. They come upon Blevins who matched the description, sitting on the curb with a bottle of gin. Present with Blevins was his dog, a woman that is reported to be his girlfriend, and a baby in a stroller.
When the police officers saw that he appeared to have a gun in his pocket, they jumped out of the car and told Blevin to put his hands up. Blevin instead immediately got up and ran away.
When the squad car pulls up, officer Schmidt yells that Blevins is armed and both cops jump out of the vehicle and start to chase Blevins.
‘Put your f***ing hands up!’ Kelly screams as he pursues Blevins. ‘Stop or I’ll shoot. Stop or I’ll shoot.’
The officers continued to yell at Blevins to stop and put his hands up.
Blevins kept running, denied he had a gun, and yelled that he didn’t want to be shot.
The second video shows Blevins pleading with officers not to shoot him as he sprints down the street.
‘Stop! Stop!’ Blevins yells as he runs. ‘Don’t shoot me please. Please don’t shoot me.’
At one point, Blevins denies he has a gun on him.
Officer Schmidt yells: ‘Stop or I’ll f***ing shoot’.
Blevins then turned and ran into an alley and Schmidt opens fire first followed by Kelly.
A third video is a stabilized and analyzed video produced by National Center for Audio & Video Forensics.
It’s slowed down to show that Blevins had a gun in the waistband of his shorts and pulled it out while he was running away from the officers, according to the department. It has a red circle drawn around Blevins’ waistband to highlight what appears to be a gun tucked into his shorts. It also has a red circle drawn around his hand as he runs to highlight what appears to be him pulling the gun out his waistband.
The Pride parade in Minneapolis in June turned into a protest against the police brutality because of the shooting of Blevins:
Some witnesses have disputed the officer’s claims that Blevins had a firearm on him.
Katya Kelly, the sister of Blevins’ girlfriend, said he had a bottle in his hand.
Sydnee Brown, a cousin of Blevins, told the Star Tribune that the video confirms her belief that he was not a threat to police.
As a result of the public outcry, Minneapolis P.D. released the bodycam footage of the incident.
Here is another unedited video that appears to show the gun dropped by Blevins and kicked away by another officer that arrived at the scene.
WARNING GRAPHIC CONTENT:
If Blevins had actually done what the police officers had told him to do, do you think he would’ve been shot?
Both Kelly and Schmidt had served in the military and were well-respected officers, though they each had complaints filed against them.
Kelly has been with the police department since 2013 and Schmidt joined in 2014. Both had served in the military and had been recognized numerous times for their work as police officers, according to redacted personnel files. They also both have had complaints against them: Kelly has had five complaints, all closed without discipline, while Schmidt has had three complaints against him, including two that were closed without discipline and one that remains open. Details about the complaints were not released.
Source: Daily Mail
What do you think, was this police brutality or was it justified?
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