City Releases Body Camera Video In Deadly Police Shooting

Posted at 8:20 PM, Jul 30, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-30 22:20:01-04

The body camera footage of the Thurman Blevins shooting has been released.

Blevins, a 31-year-old black man, was shot and killed by Minneapolis police officers Justin Schmidt and Ryan Kelly on June 23 following a 911 call about a man firing a gun in a north Minneapolis neighborhood.

Responding officers say Blevins ran from them, and they shot him during a short foot chase. Blevins died at the scene. State investigators say the officers found a handgun near his body, though witnesses questioned whether he had a gun.

The video released Sunday was stabilized and analyzed, according to the police department, by the National Center for Audio & Video Forensics in Beverly Hills, California.

The body cameras on Kelly and Schmidt start recording while they are still in their squad car headed to the scene. They encounter Blevins sitting with a woman with a toddler.

Blevins takes off running. Schmidt chases him.

“Put your hands up,” Schmidt yells.

“I didn’t do nothing, bro,” Blevins yells back.

“You’ve got a gun, mother******,” Schmidt yells.

“I don’t,” Blevins yells back.

The chase continues into an alley. Blevins yells “Please don’t shoot me,” and then gunfire. WCCO has chosen not to include the fatal shots in the video.

The city also released an enhanced video that slows down the images and highlights a gun in Blevin’s pocket at the beginning of the encounter, and in his hand at the end. The gun fell to the ground near Blevins after he was shot.

Community members have been calling for the release of the body camera footage since Blevins’ death. Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey promised to release the footage once the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension completed interviews with all key witnesses.

Frey said he believes in transparency, and that’s what drove his decision to make the video public.

Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo said that he was currently prohibited from commenting on the specifics of the case, but released a statement saying he would “continue to remain engaged, active and listen throughout the community.”

The Facebook group Justice for Thurman Blevins Jr. posted a response to the release of the video, saying the video shows that “Thurman Blevins begged for his life not to be taken by the Minneapolis Police Department.”

An autopsy showed that Blevins died from multiple gunshot wounds.

Schmidt and Kelly have been on leave since the shooting, which is standard procedure following the use of deadly force.