No charges to be filed against Minneapolis officers who fatally shot black man

ABC 5 Minneapoilis

No charges will be filed against the Minneapolis police officers who fatally shot a 31-year-old black man last month, according to a local ABC affiliate.

Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman made the announcement in a statement a day after footage of Justin Schmidt and Ryan Kelly’s shooting of Thurman Blevins was released by the Minneapolis police.  


“When Mr. Blevins fled from the officers with a loaded handgun, refused to follow their commands for him to stop and show his hands, and then took the gun out of his pocket and turned toward the officers, Mr. Blevins presented a danger to the lives of Officer Schmidt and Officer Kelly,” Freeman said in the statement obtained by KSTP.

“Their decision to use deadly force against Mr. Blevins under those circumstances was authorized by Minn. Stat. § 609.066 and as such there is no basis to issue criminal charges against either officer.”

Freeman planned on conducting a news conference to announce the officers would not face charges, but protesters interrupted. Freeman later issued the statement. 

“Black people are tired of being hunted down like deer,” one protestor said, according to video posted by ABC.

ABC News’s national network reported that a longer statement from the county attorney stated that witness testimony, body camera footage and forensic testing proved that Blevins was carrying a gun in his hand. 

Authorities said the two officers fired 14 shots in the direction of Blevins, with four hitting him, according to ABC. An autopsy report said Blevins died of multiple gunshot wounds. 

The Minneapolis Police Department released three versions of the video on Sunday. One was from Schmidt’s body camera, one from Kelly’s and a third featured “stabilized and analyzed” video that showed footage from both cameras.

In the video, Schmidt and Kelly can be seen arriving at a scene after receiving a report that an individual was firing a gun into the air. The footage shows Blevins sitting on a curb near a woman with a stroller as the officers arrive. 

When the officers approach, one voiced that Blevins had a gun and ordered him to put his hands up. A stabilized version of the video shows what appears to be a gun in Blevins’s pants pocket.

Blevins proceeds to run from the officers. The officers respond by chasing him on foot and can be heard telling him to “stop.” The pursuit lasted less than a minute and ended with the officers opening fire.

Schmidt and Kelly were placed on paid administrative leave and the Blevins family has called for the officers to face criminal charges, according to The Associated Press.

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